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PA Department of Public Welfare Cancels Plan to Privatize State Hospital Forensic Services
Date:3/21/2008

DPW Withdraws Requests for Proposals; Lauds New Labor Agreement

HARRISBURG, Pa., March 21 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- After reaching an agreement with union leaders, Department of Public Welfare Secretary Estelle B. Richman today announced the department is withdrawing its request for proposal to explore the consolidation and privatization of forensic services that are currently provided by the state hospital system.

"Working with labor and management representatives, we have reached an agreement that maintains the highest quality standard of care for residents of our forensic units, offers continued employment for forensic center staff and provides a savings to Pennsylvania taxpayers," said Richman.

In August, the department announced plans to close clinical services of the civil section of Mayview State Hospital in Allegheny County by the end of 2008, in addition to reviewing the delivery of state hospital forensic services across the state. The department issued a request for proposals to explore creating two, privately run, regionally based forensic facilities located on the campus of Norristown State Hospital in eastern Pennsylvania and on the campus of Torrance State Hospital in western Pennsylvania.

Under the new agreement, existing forensic services at Warren and Norristown state hospitals will remain in place, while state operated services at Mayview will be transferred to Torrance State Hospital upon completion of Mayview's scheduled closure.

The agreement was cooperatively reached with the leadership of the following unions that represent state employees in the forensic system: the Pennsylvania State Corrections Officers Association (PSCOA), Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Healthcare Pennsylvania, Pennsylvania Social Services Union (PSSU) Local 668 and Office and Professional Employees International Union (OPEIU) Healthcare Pennsylvania.

For more information about the closure of Mayview State Hospital visit http://www.dpw.state.pa.us.

The Department of Public Welfare helps people meet their basic needs by providing health care and other critical support services for children, the elderly, people with chronic diseases, persons with disabilities and low income families and adults in Pennsylvania. DPW is dedicated to promoting, improving, and sustaining the quality of family life; breaking the cycle of dependency while protecting and serving Pennsylvania's most vulnerable citizens. Visit DPW on the Internet at: http://www.dpw.state.pa.us.

CONTACT:

Stacey Witalec

(717) 787-4592


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SOURCE Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare
Copyright©2008 PR Newswire.
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