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April 2, 2009, 10:00 a.m. CT  


Ashley Cradduck, Gov’s Office



Gov. Heineman Outlines Vision for Stronger Beatrice
State Developmental Center

(Lincoln Neb.) Gov. Dave Heineman today sent a letter to state senators outlining the vision for future needs and improvements at the Beatrice State Developmental Center (BSDC). The letter included a plan state officials will use to strengthen BSDC and community-based services during the next two years.

The Governor highlighted several steps taken in the last two months:

  • An interim CEO for BSDC was named in February. Clare Mahon has experience managing a state facility that was decertified by federal agencies and eventually regained certification.
  • Mahon is joined by an interim management team with experience and expertise in navigating the challenges facing facilities similar to BSDC.
  • The medical team at BSDC has expanded to include doctors trained in neurology and osteopathic medicine, as well as two general physicians.
  • Two speech pathologists will begin working at BSDC this month. The extra staff is in addition to the 24 developmental technicians and 4 licensed practical nurses hired so far this year. Each of these positions is critical to supporting the needs of BSDC residents.

Ongoing efforts to match the needs of BSDC residents with appropriate services and staffing are expected to result in additional BSDC residents transitioning to community-based services over the next two years. An assessment of all BSDC residents is underway to identify needs and determine placement options in the best interest of each individual.

Officials with the Division of Developmental Disabilities at the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) are working to expand community-based services that will allow BSDC residents to be served in a more independent setting. 

Two organizations that provide services and independent living options for those with developmental disabilities are working with DHHS to expand their operations in several Nebraska communities.

Mosaic is expected to create services and living arrangements for an additional 66 people with developmental disabilities  in the next two years. Mosaic will open six, six-bed Intermediate Care Facilities for the Mentally Retarded, as well as five, six-bed Centers for Developmental Disabilities over the next 30 months in several communities.

Four of these living units will be in operation in a year, with the remaining units in operation by October 2011. Each living unit will be equipped to provide medical support services, with some units staffed to provide 24-hour nursing care.

Another provider, ENCOR, is in negotiations to provide an additional six beds in a new medical service unit in the Omaha area.
As these living units are developed, the DHHS Division of Developmental Disabilities will increase capacity in its Intensive Treatment Services and Outpatient Treatment Intensive Services programs from 8 to at least 25, to provide temporary services to individuals.

Governor's Letter (pdf ) | Plan for the Future of BSDC (pdf)


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