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State Child Advocate says Riverview Hospital is Outdated
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Tomorrow at noon, Governor Jodi Rell will present her budget for the next two fiscal years to the General Assembly, a budget that is expect to be at least six billion dollars in the red.  While details of the Governor's proposal to fix this deficit have yet to be revealed, it is expected that she will propose closing Riverview Hospital, the state's psychiatric hospital for children in Middletown.  At a taxpayer cost of over $862,000 a year, per child, and well documented problems with care quality, many believe shifting these children to private hospitals will better protect them and save the state millions of dollars.  One of these people is the Connecticut State Child Advocate, Jeanne Milstein, who monitors Riverview at the request of Governor Rell.  She stopped by to talk with Ray Hardman about the future of Riverview.


 

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I am astounded that a child advocate seems to think it is easy to place a child in the private sector. She obviously has never had personal one on one experience working with DCF and the facilities that are available for a challenged child. The Institute for Living does not have a long term acute facility nor does St. Raphaels, or Yale or St. joseph's Hospital. These facilities are suited for short term interim acute care. Often the child requires long term acute care, not a respite.  She did hit the nail on the head, albeit limitedly, that the Department of Children and Families is the crux of the issue. Until we completely straighten that mess out, we will continue to have to have state facilities. DCF simply does not have enough control over their own staff or children.