Residents Begin to Leave Murray Developmental Center
Governor’s Rebalancing Initiative Moving Forward, Murray Developmental Center Transitions Set to Begin
First resident to move today
CENTRALIA, Illinois – The Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS) announced that residents of the Warren G. Murray Developmental Center will begin moving to new homes this week. The moves are part of Governor Quinn’s Rebalancing Initiative that will increase community care options for people with developmental disabilities and mental illness and reduce the number of outdated and expensive institutions in the state.
“This is a historic time for Illinois as we continue our commitment to change the status quo and improve life for people with disabilities and mental health challenges in Illinois,” Governor Quinn said. “Moving from outdated institutions to community care is improving Illinois’ quality of care and allowing people to lead more independent and fulfilling lives.”
“For far too long, Illinois has relied on an outdated system of care for people with developmental disabilities, and Governor Quinn’s administration is making significant progress in rebalancing that system,” said IDHS Secretary Michelle R.B. Saddler. “Today, as we continue to develop community care options and safely transition our citizens to community care settings, we can all be proud that Illinois is moving forward to empower all people to reach their full potential.”
The first individual transitioning out of the Murray Center will move to a Community Integrated Living Arrangement (CILA) located in East Central Illinois. Under Governor Quinn’s leadership, two state operated developmental centers (SODC) have closed and 600 individuals will transition into community settings over the next couple of years. Murray is scheduled to close in the late fall.
“We are working closely with families and guardians using a person-centered planning process to ensure safe transitions for residents of Murray Center,” said IDHS Division of Developmental Disabilities Director Kevin Casey. “We developed a comprehensive, well thought out plan to transition Murray residents safely into the community. All residents will undergo a thorough planning process, including assessment, consultation with families and guardians, and planning sessions with providers to determine specific needs and ensure safe transitions.”
In addition, each and every person moving into the community will visit their potential new home and have a transition meeting prior to discharge. Residents will only be transitioned to licensed programs. The process of transitioning individuals out of SODCs has been and will continue to be careful and deliberate.
Numerous studies show that individuals living in the community have a better quality of life than those living in large institutions. Community settings allow individuals to receive the care they need, including 24-hour care. Community care is also significantly less costly than institution-based care. The average cost for Murray Center is $239,000 per year per resident, while the average cost for a Murray resident living in the community is estimated at $120,000 per year.
“We do not place individuals in settings until they are properly equipped to handle their specialized needs. Before being transitioned, the department also ensures that providers are knowledgeable and well equipped to handle those specialized needs,” added Kevin Casey, Director of IDHS Division of Developmental Disabilities.
Providers participating in the Rebalancing Initiative must be licensed by the state of Illinois. IDHS requires contracted providers to do background checks on potential employees, including criminal background checks, Illinois Sex Offender Registry, DCFS abuse/neglect registry, IDPH health care worker registry, and national Medicaid fraud sanctions list. All employees are required to have 80 hours of on the job training and 40 hours of classroom instruction.
There are currently 259 residents and 528 staff at Murray.
Tony Paulauski Executive Director
The Arc of Illinois
20901 S. LaGrange Rd. Suite 209
Frankfort, IL 60423