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Gov, help keep EastRidge open for our children

By Staff | Mar 2, 2009

As a parent of a citizen who is developmentally disabled, I am deeply concerned about the behavioral health crisis that is facing the state of West Virginia. EastRige Health Systems, which serves the Eastern Panhandle, is near closure due to financial difficulties they are facing.

There are so many of us who will be adversely affected if we should lose the very valuable services of EastRidge. They are an incredible orgainization – providing the services through the Grove Center that we need for our children and giving them a better life.

If Gov. Manchin and the Legislature do not act in this legislative session to address the needs of the mentally ill, the future stability of bahavioural health care will be shaken once again and may providers, like EastRidge will face closure. Across-the-board Medicaid rate increases in the “clinic and rehabilitation” codes used to serve the mentally ill is an important first step in re-establishing community-based behavioral health services. While this particular funding is directed at clinic an rehab services for mental health issues, hundreds of “developmentally disabled” clients that EastRidge also cares for are at risk. If we lose EastRidge, citizens will be forced to find help in an already overcrowded, under-serviced market.

Gov. Manchin, help us keep EastRidge open for our children. Please carefully consider the faces of all those affected if you do not act to increase Medicaid rates for behavioral health care.

Sharon McEvoy Winne

EastRidge Family and Friends Group

Harpers Ferry