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Despite possible budget cut, Iowa DHS says future of facility subjected to DOJ investigation is secure

The facility is important to the southwest Iowa town of Glenwood's economy.
Posted at 6:08 PM, Jan 28, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-28 20:03:40-05

GLENWOOD, Iowa. (KMTV) — Glenwood, a small town in southwest Iowa, is host to one of two of the state-run institutions for individuals with intellectual disabilities.

With it comes more than 450 jobs, according to the Glenwood Area Chamber of Commerce, making it the largest employer in the town of about 5,500.

But Glenwood Resource Center was the subject of a year-long U.S. Department of Justice investigation that alleges the facility violated the constitutional rights of its patients with intellectual disabilities by ignoring requests for necessary care and performing human experiments. The 63-page report released in late December. The facility's death rate rose significantly in recent years, the DOJ report says.

See our report on the investigation: "He wanted to use our loved ones as guinea pigs"

Gov. Kim Reynolds proposed a budget cut of 1.9 million dollars to the Glenwood Resource Center in her latest budget proposal for the fiscal year stating this summer. That concerns some in Glenwood.

“Whatever happens or doesn’t happen with GRC really impacts the rest of the town,” said Rachel Reis of the area's chamber of commerce.

Recruiting medical and direct-care staff to Glenwood has been difficult, a DHS spokesperson said.

But staffing won't be impacted by any cut, according to the agency, because overtime will be reduced instead. Some patients will be relocated to Woodward Resource Center, Iowa's other facility for individuals with intellectual disabilities outside Des Moines.

For more, watch the video above, and find a full copy of the investigation here.

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