Success from sad news

There was understandable hand-wringing and anger when former Gov. Bill Ritter announced a couple years back that the skilled nursing facility at the Grand Junction Regional Center would be closed as part of a state budget-cutting effort.

Parents and caregivers asked: Where will the clients of the facility go? Who will provide for their highly specialized needs.

Today, 22 of those clients are living in three groups homes operated by Mesa Developmental Services. And, as a story by The Daily Sentinel’s Emily Anderson highlighted, the move has been a success. The former clients of the Regional Center have settled in to the group-home living arrangements, even though some of their needs — dental visits, for instance — cannot be met on site as they were at the state-run facility. They each have their own room now, instead of living in dormitory facilities.

MDS hired some of the staff from the skilled nursing facility at the Regional Center to be caregivers to the same clients in the group homes. And it raised money from private foundations and individuals to pay for the homes. It expects to complete the fundraising by the end of this year.

Kudos to MDS for making a very difficult transfer a success.


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