Here are a few facts and statistics that a closure of Murray Developmental Center would pose to it’s residents, workers and the surrounding community.
The Warren G. Murray Developmental Center provides vital and irreplaceable services. Closure would deal a tragic blow to the 280 individuals with developmental disabilities it serves, their families, and the entire Centralia area. DHS is not allowing families to choose another state center for their loved ones.
Murray is a haven and a home for residents and their families. Residents receive vital support services, as well as high quality, specialized medical care, their life skills are developed and their families visit frequently. Families know their loved ones receive excellent care from dedicated staff.
Many Murray residents have severe developmental disabilities, complex health needs and challenging behaviors that have made it extremely difficult for them to live at home or in smaller group homes.
Community agencies were unable to meet the unique and challenging health needs or behavioral issues of many Murray residents who previously tried such placements. Yet the Quinn Administration is planning to force there residents to move to community placements because they are less costly than the higher level of care provided at Murray. DHS has said that moving to another state center will only be an option if another funded bed happens to be available, which is very unlikely. Residents with very high needs will have nowhere to turn.
Closure will force Murray residents to move at a time when community agencies have suffered their own state budget cuts. Private group homes are under no obligation to accept any resident. Some Murray residents have been rejected by community agencies in the past.
Families fear that precipitous closure of Murray may cause a repeat of the tragedy that ensued in the wake of the closure of Lincoln Developmental Center when 26 of its former residents died after being forced to move to less suitable settings.
The closure of Murray will be yet another loss for an economically struggling region. More than 600 good jobs with health insurance and pensions will be lost to the Centralia area, where unemployment is already at 11.5%. Many dedicated and skilled employees who are devoted to the individuals they serve will be forced into the ranks of the unemployed.
And a several benefits that Murray Center brings.
Murray Center has 132 individuals who utilize wheelchairs which makes it 48% of the total population of 275. Murray Center is unique and one of the few SODC’s who make their wheelchairs solely at the facility. The individuals are placed in a special bean bag simulator where their body position is molded. The mold positions them in an upright, midline position, even though their bodies may be contorted and twisted due to their diagnosis. This mold is then duplicated out of various foams to relieve pressure areas and meet their specific needs. The foam is covered with vinyl as a finished product and the results allow the individual to remain in upright positions while placed in their wheelchair. The duplicator used in this process was fabricated by the Murray Center machinist and wheelchair carpenter. The duplicator was so popular, due to its cost effective ability from ordering seating systems from outside agencies, that it was actually fabricated for another SODC in the Chicago area to utilize. Several other SODC’s have also sent their molds to Murray to be duplicated for them in order to save time and money for their facilities.
Murray Center is also very instrumental in utilizing the Federal Medicare program to purchase wheelchair for their individuals. There is an agreement with a wheelchair company who provides wheelchairs under this program. They are also specially molded and made to meet the individual’s needs. Murray Center is unique in their choice to utilize Medicare funding for these wheelchairs, as most other SODC’s do not participate in this program. Positioning in wheelchairs is very important to improve the overall quality of life for the individuals at Murray Center. Good positioning improves breathing, decreases risk of skin breakdowns, allows for safer eating and allows them to remain in an upright position for an extended period of time. Therefore, much time and energy is given to the wheelchair program at Murray Center.
Welcome to the web page that is committed to stopping the closure of the Warren G, Murray Center in Centralia, IL. Illinois Governor Pat Quinn announced on Feb 22, 2012 that the Center would be closed due to budget cuts in the 2013 fiscal year.
We will make our case that this closure will have an adverse effect firstly, on the residents that call this place home, causing unnecessary hardships on them and their family's. Secondly, the workers loss of employment and it’s effect on them and a community that is already seeing high unemployment rates and a dwindling economy.
We are encouraging all who haven’t yet to write a letter/e-
Commission on Government Forecasting and Accountability
703 Stratton Office Building
Springfield, Illinois 62706
Written testimony or comments submitted via e-
1. As a .pdf file
2. As a word document
3. In the body of an e-