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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 5, 2001

Ryan Orders Reform Program at Lincoln Developmental Center

SPRINGFIELD -- Governor George H. Ryan today initiated extensive reforms in the operation of the Lincoln Developmental Center designed to maintain the highest quality care for the facility's 370 residents.

Ryan ordered the reforms in the wake of the latest federal and state surveys at Lincoln that revealed sub-standard conditions. The Lincoln facility has been plagued since the late 1980s with various problems that have threatened its federal certification status.

"My primary concern is the safety and the well being of the 370 residents at Lincoln. They come first," Ryan said. "Any decisions we make about the future direction of the facility will be made with the best interests of the residents in mind.

"I want to urge everyone concerned with the operation of the facility, including the families of residents, local officials, administrators and members of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees to work cooperatively with us on the reform measures we are putting in place. Working together, we can secure the best possible care for everyone."

The reforms initiated by Ryan today are:

  • The movement of 90 residents from the Lincoln facility to other state facilities where their care will continue. The movement of these residents will ease the implementation of internal reforms.

  • Agreements with AFSCME and facility managers to alter labor contracts that will allow internal staffing and program changes to be made more quickly and effectively. These internal changes are necessary to bring the facility into compliance with state and federal standards.

  • The beginning of a 30-day assessment period for the facility. During this assessment period, various internal reforms will be implemented. Throughout these 30 days, state officials will be conducting further inspections and surveys to determine progress at the facility with regard to state and federal standards of care.

The internal reforms to be initiated at Lincoln include changes in direct care staffing levels and other management improvements that raise the quality of programs for Lincoln residents and the services that are delivered on a case-by-case basis.

Earlier this week, the Department of Human Services, which oversees the Lincoln facility, assigned new managers at Lincoln. The new facility director, Peggy Davidsmeyer, has 30 years of experience working with the developmentally disabled, including seven years as the assistant facilities director at the Jacksonville Developmental Center.

All facilities in compliance with federal care standards are eligible for federal operating funds. Currently, the annual budget for the Lincoln facility is $35 million, with $17 million provided by the federal government. A final ruling on the facility's certification status is not anticipated for some time.


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