shady-rest-homeKurt Carlson, the CEO of the Bowen Center confirmed this weekend that the Bowen Center’s Shady Rest Home facility in Plymouth will be closing this summer.

The Shady Rest Home facility currently offers residential placement for 42 citizens who suffer with mental illness.  They are served by a staff of 26.

Carlson said, “For the sake of the residents, most of the staff has made a commitment to stay until we close the facility, but some have not and we understand that.”

Bowen Center’s HR is meeting one-on-one with the staff and seeing where they might fit elsewhere within the organization.  Carlson said, “That is a work-in-progress.  Everyone is not happy with the decision to place the residents elsewhere and close the facility.  Again, we understand.”

Two years ago CMS (Center for Medicaid and Medicare Services) issued a new set of regulations regarding any facility that provides services to persons with mental illness. Kurt said, “I believe those regulations were enacted with good intent.” Those regulations were passed on to the Indiana Division of Mental Health and Addictions (DMHA) to implement.  He continued, “In my opinion, DMHA conducted the surveys, site visits, reviewing plans-of-correction, provided consultation and training in a professional, supportive and positive way.    Of the roughly 20 facilities that Bowen Center operates, all of them eventually were determined to have met the new standards…except Shady Rest Home.”

According to the new regulations, Shady Rest Home had to be designated “presumed institution” for a number of reasons.  DMHA asked if the Bowen Center wanted them to request a “waiver” from CMS, which they did.  If the waiver is denied, DMHA has to take immediate action to close the program.  Carlson said, “Since that could have a dramatic negative impact on our Shady Rest Home residents and force us to make bad placements, I finally decided that the prudent and timely course of action was to start transferring the residents to safe, affordable and appropriate placements that best meet the needs of each individual.  I want to give ourselves enough time to make each placement the right one for the resident…figuratively ‘letting the air out of the balloon slowly’.”

Connie Harmon is Bowen Center’s Director of Transitional Services and is the person who will arrange for the proper placement of every resident.  Since Bowen Center serves hundreds of chronically and persistently mentally ill adults in our many communities, Connie has had many years of experience doing this.

About April 14th the Shady Rest staff was told of the decision to close, then the residents were informed.   They also phoned and/or sent letters to the relatives and guardians of the residents letting them know of the situation.

Mr. Carlson said, “We hope to have all the residents transitioned out of Shady Rest Home by July 1st with an expected closing date of the end of July 2017.   Bowen Center is making application to DMHA to license one of our buildings in Warsaw as a 15-bed group home.  That way, any residents that we have not been able to place prior to July 1 will be transferred to that facility.”

Kurt Carlson closed his comments by saying, “No other Bowen Center residential or office facilities will be closing in Marshall or any of the 10 counties that we serve.  All other facilities met the new CMS standards.  Further, Bowen Center is very solid and continues to add staff, programs and services…expanding mental health and substance use services to best meet the needs of the communities we serve.”