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Published on March 17, 2009

Forum was Beneficial

March 17, 2009 

Dear Editor:

I would like to thank the Community Mental Health Board for hosting the March 9 forum on the health system’s plan to close the hospital’s six-bed Center for Behavioral Health. Mike Cullen, KishHealth System board president; Brad Copple, KCH administrator; Dr. Fatima Hadi, Center for Behavioral Health medical director; and I, appreciated the opportunity to explain the reasons behind the board’s decision.

We made it very clear that the health system board and management team are committed to discussing and collaborating with others on addressing community’s health needs, including mental health. We look forward to further dialogue with Ben Gordon Center, the Mental Health Board and the DeKalb County Health and Human Services Committee.

The state board is expected to consider our application to discontinue the inpatient mental health service in July. The Center for Behavioral Health will not close until that decision is made, and the hospital’s Emergency Department will always be the safety net for individuals in crisis. 

Also, on behalf of the board of the directors and senior management team, I’d like to acknowledge the Daily Chronicle’s efforts to understand and present both sides of the issues in its news coverage. The thoughtful March 14 editorial supporting the health system board’s decision was greatly appreciated as well. 

Kevin Poorten
President and CEO
KishHealth System

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