Save Hillcrest Subacute!
Save Hillcrest Subacute!
Hillcrest Family Services Subacute program in Dubuque, Iowa is a 10-day step-down program for mental health care. According to KCRG reports from November 22, 2019, this program will be shut down within the next month due to funding and operating at a deficit.
According to Hillcrest’s website: “Our Subacute program, the first of its kind to open in the state, provides short-term, intensive, recovery oriented services in order to stabilize an individual who is experiencing a decreased level of functioning due o a mental health condition. The purpose is to provide a further stabilization to individuals 18 years and old, engaging them in comprehensive treatment, rehabilitation, [recovery activities], and transitioning into the least restrictive setting as soon as possible”. What does this mean?
This means that our community receives mental health support, medication management, a variety of therapy options, and establishing connections to outpatient and community services in Iowa. This means that someone who is in crisis, who is not able to get admitted to the hospital due to bed shortages, doesn’t have to spend days in an emergency room or go to a hospital across the state. This means that those who are seeking help are not turned away, left to feel further alone and isolated. The closure of this program will lead to longer and more frequent emergency room visits and inpatient hospitalizations, placement far away from home and families, an increase in substance use, increased unemployment rates, and an increased in poor outcomes all directly related to limited access to mental health care.
I am an inpatient psychiatric nurse at a hospital in Dubuque. I see firsthand how limited access to brain health care directly causes psychiatric crises and poor outcomes. I have numerous family members who suffer with some sort of diagnosis and substance use. I have loved ones who already have to wait months for appointments for medication management, and I see many patients in the same situation. I have had SO many patients tell me how helpful Hillcrest Subacute is, and how their program has helped them successfully transition to home. According to an article from 2017 by NPR said that from 2005 to 2010, psychiatric beds decreased by 14%. This trend has only increased since that data. This same article says that nearly 11% of psychiatric patients in emergency rooms must be transferred to another hospital specifically due to bed availability.
E-mails and calls have been placed to Governor Kim Reynolds, Senator Carrie Koehler, and Representative Shannon Lundgren for government intervention. Additionally, the Dubuque County Board of Supervisors is meeting on December 9th, 2019 at 2:00pm at the Dubuque Courthouse (4th floor) to further discuss this closure. By signing this petition, you can show that our community cares about brain health in Dubuque and supports our community who already have limited access to care. If you are able to sign this petition and are able to attend this meeting, this cause and program will have a greater chance at saving this program and our community.