The Free Press, Mankato, MN

Local News

September 26, 2013

Sheran holds hearing on state hospitals, clinics

"Scathing" auditor's report listed 20 recommendations for state


Sheran praised the analysis, saying when things go wrong at a medical facility, it is usually the result of several failures in a system, not a simple mistake by one person.

It became clear before the hearing ended that the committee wouldn’t have time to answer all of its members’ questions. About 75 minutes into the two hours allotted for this subject, the committee had only discussed two of the auditor’s 20 recommendations.

Sen. John Hoffman, DFL-Champlin, suggested the department focus on a more bottom-up approach to policymaking by including line staff in decisionmaking.

In the end, part of the solution to improve state-run hospitals might be to get even more people out. In 1960, about 16,000 people lived in state facilities, compared to fewer than 1,300 today, according to the report.

“We get a lot of pushback every time we want to site a facility in a community,” Barry said. However, "living in the community has to be the goal for our state.”

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