Home > Uncategorized > The fight goes on to save the Glavin Center

The fight goes on to save the Glavin Center

At a breakfast on Tuesday at the Glavin Regional Center in Shrewsbury, state lawmakers heard from family members and guardians trying to save this critically important facility from closure.

And the families heard from the lawmakers, who said they will have a tough battle on their hands to get their message heard among the well-organized forces on Beacon Hill calling for the shutdown of all remaining developmental centers in the state for persons with intellectual disabilities.

Meanwhile, lawmakers will file an amendment to the state budget bill coming up for debate in the House, requiring an independent cost analysis before Glavin and two other centers can be closed.

State Senator Michael Moore of Milbury made the comment during the Glavin breakfast, saying the amendment will specify that the study be done by the state auditor, inspector general, or another independent entity selected by a competitive bidding process.

COFAR has criticized a cost analysis submitted to the Legislature last summer by the Patrick administration, which claims that closing the Glavin, Monson, and Templeton developmental centers will save the state $20 million a year.  No analysis was submitted at all for the Fernald Developmental Center, which is the first on the administration’s closure list.

Because we believe there are numerous flaws in the administration’s cost analysis, we at COFAR have urged that an independent study be submitted to the Legislature. 

Rep. Anne Gobi (left), Rep. Vincent Pedone (center), and Senator Michael Moore (right) at Glavin breakfast. Moore said lawmakers will file a budget amendment calling for an independent analysis of the costs of closing three developmental centers.

At Tuesday’s breakfast, Al Bacotti, a former director of the Glavin Center, made the case to the lawmakers that Glavin is both cost-effective to operate and functions as a “safety net” for a group of severely intellectually disabled people who have been unable to live successfully in community-based settings.

Bacotti maintained that he saw a number of instances in which costs tripled for Glavin residents needing intensive care, after they were transferred to community residences.  Those residents no longer had the benefit of centralized clinical, therapeutic, and medical services, which had been available at Glavin, he said.

Bacotti also disputed the argument made by facility closure advocates that Glavin and the other developmental centers are segregated from the surrounding community and restrict residents’ freedom.

Former Glavin Director Al Bacotti (standing) speaks at breakfast. Seated to his left is Roland Charpentier, president of Friends of Glavin. Bacotti termed Glavin "cost effective" and a "safety net."

“There are actually more freedoms here (at Glavin) than for many people in community settings,” Bacotti said.  “To the argument that everyone should be in the community, my answer is it didn’t work for the people here.”

Rep. Vincent Pedone of Worcester replied at that point that he needs more data on those cost issues because “people (on Beacon Hill) are telling us the opposite is true.”  COFAR delivered a set of facts and figures on developmental center and community costs directly to Rep. Pedone today (Wednesday).

During the Tuesday breakfast meeting, Wilfred Dumont told the lawmakers about his son, Stephen, 26, who has been a Glavin resident for the past four years.  Stephen is intellectually disabled and is deaf and has cerebral palsy and other medical conditions.  Prior to coming to Glavin,  he lived in a community-based facility where he began banging his head so severely that even a helmet didn’t help.

“He opened up his head at least 30 times,” Dumont said.  That behavior has ceased since he’s been at Glavin.  “Now he’s smiling for the first time and he comes home on weekends,” Dumont added.  He said Stephen still has some behavioral episodes, but they no longer go on for a month at at a time. “To move him to another facility won’t work.  You might as well put him in a cage,” he said.

Stephen Dumont (center) with his mother, Rose, and father, Wilfred. The staff at Glavin got Stephen to stop banging his head and injuring himself.

We will tell more about Stephen’s case and about other Glavin family members’ stories in our upcoming, May issue of The COFAR Voice.

Other lawmakers attending Tuesday’s legislative breakfast included Reps. Anne Gobi of Spencer, Kimberly Ferguson of Holden, Paul Frost of Auburn, and Matthew Beaton of Shrewsbury.

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  1. Mary Ann Ulevich
    March 31, 2011 at 9:39 pm

    Sounds like a great meeting. FYI…I met with Sen Brewer from Barre and he is sympathetic, but wary of the costs to keep centers open. I spoke with him about my cousin Tom at TDC, and his needs and challenges. I plan to send him more info

    I also will thank Vincent Pedone and Michael Moore for their efforts
    mau

  2. Ed
    March 31, 2011 at 9:54 pm

    With difficult budget times, we all know that this is about money. And who would know better about the costs involved in both settings than Al Bacotti? It’s obvious that the level of care available in centralized locations cannot be replicated in every community setting without multiplying the costs. For the life of me, I cannot understand why there is a refusal to listen to common sense proposals to compact these facilities into what has been referred to as “postage stamp” parcels, sell of the excess property, but maintain the services that are so vital to these individuals. Who knows? This could be the finding of an independent cost analysis. It would be a win-win situation.

  3. April 1, 2011 at 12:32 am

    SENATOE BREWER TALKS OUT OF BOTH SIDES OF HIS MOUTH.
    HE PREACHES THAT HE IS FOR THE CENTERS STAYING OPEN, BUT IS A MOVING FORCE IN CLOSING THEM. IT IS A WASTE OF TIME TO TRY TO EXPLAIN THAT THE SYSTEM THAT WAS SPECIFICALLY DESIGNED FOR THESE RESIDENTS WITH ALL IT SPECIALIZED FACILITIES AND TRAINED PERSONNEL CANNOT BE REPLACED BY COMMUNITY HOUSING SIMPLY BECAUSE IT “MAY BE CHEAPER”. THESE DO-GOODERS WILL SPEND MILLIONS ON FELONS IN PRISON, BUT DENY THE COURT GUARANTEED RIGHTS OF OUT DIMINISHED CITIZENS SIMPLY BECAUSE THEY ARE NOT ABLE TO DEFEND THEMSELVES. sHAME ON YOU patrick and cohorts

  4. Sue S
    April 1, 2011 at 12:51 am

    I can’t think of anyone who would have better qualifications to talk about the costs of operating a campus like Glavin, than the person who actually ran the facility. Really great that he is willing to come forward and share his knowledge. I share Ed’s frustration. I can’t figure out why no one will listen or why there is complete refusal to consider the common sense of the “postage stamp” option. With the budget issues, does it make sense to close a facility that is providing excellent and critical services to the residents only to have to build additional housing for those people who do not want to go to those houses because they are inappropriate? What about people who have been waiting for years for a residential placement. They will be forced to wait even longer as the facility residents that don’t want to move but are forced to are given priority placements for the new buildings. It makes no sense. The only sensible thing is to reduce the acreage of these facilities. Everyone agrees hundreds of acres are not necessary. The reduction makes the facility more efficient and cost effective to operate. The sale of the excess acreage add to the coffers. Almost sound like a “no brainer”. I just don’t get what the problem is here.

  5. Bonnie Valade
    April 1, 2011 at 4:29 pm

    We rush to the aid of people in need all over the world in the name of HUMANITY, and yet, our forces on Beacon Hill continue to turn their backs on OUR disabled citizens, removing them from their homes and dismantling their trusted crucial quality of care that cannot and will not be copied in community care. Where is the HUMANISM applied to their lives???? My very grateful thanks to all the legislators for all their efforts on the Hill and for attending the Glavin breakfast. Also, a thankyou to Al Bacotti.

  6. Ed
    April 4, 2011 at 8:05 pm

    We received a call this week on our Advocacy Network help-line from a woman whose son has been moved three times in the last three years because of his uncontrollable behavior and inability to live with others. He has a history of being abused, and he strikes out at others. So he is now the sole resident of an apartment under DDS care, and the department is voicing concerns about the expense of housing one person in one setting. This case is one more reason why centers like Glavin, etc., exist as a safety net. They provide more efficient, more effective care for individuals who are not suited to community settings.

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