Heaton, Dolecheck Announce Agreement on Mental Health Institutes

Written by Theresa Rose on May 8, 2015

(DES MOINES) — Reps. Dave Heaton (R-Mt. Pleasant) and Cecil Dolecheck (R-Mt. Ayr) announced today that they have reached an agreement with Governor Branstad’s office and the Department of Human Services on the operations at the Clarinda and Mount Pleasant Mental Health Institutes (MHIs).

“Thanks to the strong outpouring of support for the work done at the Clarinda and Mount Pleasant MHI’s, we have been able to work with the Governor’s staff and the Department of Human Services (DHS) to find a way to continue substance abuse and dual diagnosis services here in Mount Pleasant and mental health services in Clarinda,” said Heaton.

Under the agreement, the state will continue to operate the Iowa Residential Treatment Center at Mount Pleasant through December 15, 2015. This will allow the facility to continue offering substance abuse services during this time, retaining 33 jobs in the community. After January 1, 2016 the Iowa Department of Public Health will seek to identify a substance abuse treatment provider who will operate the facility. They will continue providing treatment services as well as mental health/substance abuse dual diagnosis services. These services would be funded via third party insurance payments and substance abuse treatment funding through the Iowa Department of Public Health.

The agreement also addresses psychiatric services at the Clarinda Mental Health Institute. The facility, which operates as an acute psychiatric hospital today, will continue providing appropriately staffed mental health services through December 15, 2015. DHS will be working with the community to identify mental health providers to provide mental health services after January 1, 2016.

“We have been working with our colleagues in the Legislature and departments to look for ways to continue the services being offered in these two facilities. This is a solid agreement for both Clarinda and Mount Pleasant,” said Dolecheck.

Heaton said that strong bipartisan work in support of both mental health institutes helped to convince Governor Branstad and his staff of the need to continue the services being extended in this deal.

“It is my hope that the House and Senate can approve this and move forward with improving mental health and substance abuse treatment services for needy Iowans,” said Heaton.