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Glenwood Resource Center to close by 2024 after operations described 'untenable'

Glenwood Resource Center GRC
Posted at 3:37 PM, Apr 07, 2022

GLENWOOD, Iowa (KMTV) — On Thursday, Iowa's top leaders made an announcement that will deeply affect Mills County and the residents of the Glenwood Resource Center: the GRC will close in 2024.

The decision was described in a press release from Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds as the conclusion of a years-long Department of Justice investigation into the state's over-reliance on institutional settings for serving individuals with disabilities. The GRC is a residential care facility that provides services to individuals who have intellectual and developmental disabilities.

“Despite significant effort over the last two years to improve care and respond to DOJ directives, continued operation of the Glenwood Resource Center has become untenable. This was a difficult decision, and we are committed to ensuring that the transition process thoughtfully addresses the concerns of everyone impacted by the closure,” said Senate Majority Leader Jack Whitver in the press release.

The state's focus has shifted to the transition of residents and employees of the GRC and on Thursday the Iowa Department of Health and Human Services was said to be present at the resource center to coordinate with guardians, family members and staff personnel. Reynolds did not further detail how the state "will work with local government officials and community leaders to minimize the impact on the Glenwood community and Mills County, and to identify alternative uses for the GRC campus after the facility closes."

However, the plan is that DHS will work to help facilitate a smooth transition for the care of GRC residents in community placements or transfers to the Woodward Resource Center near Des Moines.

GRC employees are expected to be offered retention incentives to remain in their roles to continue providing care for residents. "The state will also assist staff in identifying new career opportunities in Iowa as their employment nears an end," said Reynolds' press release.

Past reporting by 3 News Now in January 2021 reflected the facility retained about 450 employees in a town of 5,500, but that the GRC was assured it was secure in the face of millions of budget cuts.


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

"I am fully committed to a seamless and successful transition of care for them, their families and the staff at Glenwood,” stated Reynolds. “Iowans with intellectual and developmental disabilities deserve quality care that aligns with the expectations of the DOJ. Our best path forward to achieve those standards is closing GRC and reinvesting in a community-based care continuum that offers a broad array of services."

As a result of the DOJ's November 2019 investigation, the GRC was said to have addressed different issues with services and its workforce, but ultimately the expectations cannot be attained and sustained long term at the facility."


"He wanted to use our loved ones as guinea pigs": The DOJ report on Glenwood Resource Center

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