When the realignment of staff in the Missouri Department of Mental Health is completed on April 15, Fulton State Hospital will have only four layoffs, Marty Martin-Foreman, the hospital's chief operating officer said Tuesday.
"All four of them were given other job offers from either Fulton State Hospital or other Department of Mental Health facilities," Martin-Foreman said.
"It's truly amazing. The credit doesn't go to me. It goes to all of the wonderful staff at Fulton State Hospital who work with me. They have done a fantastic job in seeking other job opportunities for everyone involved," Martin-Foreman said.
"The outlook for Fulton State Hospital is much brighter than it was a year ago in May when the realignment was announced," Martin-Foreman said.
Martin-Foreman said on April 15 the reduction in staff of Fulton State Hospital will be complete.
When the realignment of state mental health staff around the state began last year it was announced that Fulton State Hospital would lose 270 jobs.
Counting all full-time and part-time positions, the hospital will have about 1,000 staff members on April 15.
"We were going to lose 270 positions last year when all of the downsizing was announced. Since then clients from around the state were transferred to Fulton State Hospital. That shift enabled us to offer jobs to our employees to provide services to new clients. The new clients essentially replaced some of our previous clients who were transferred to other Department of Mental Health facilities around the state. This extra work given to us through these two new wards reduced our positions lost to 147," Martin-Foreman said.
The two wards transferred to Fulton State Hospital were the Sexual Offender Rehabilitation Treatment Ward on Nov. 1, 2010, and this month Fulton State Hospital will open a minimum security ward for forensic developmentally disabled individuals. The developmentally disabled unit was transferred from Marshall to Fulton. No layoffs were necessary at Marshall because the facility had enough vacancies to fill the jobs lost, Martin-Foreman said.
"We start receiving clients later this month from the Marshall Habilitation Center," Martin-Foreman said.
The number of patient-clients at Fulton State Hospital by April 15 will be about 341, a reduction of 130 from the 471 at the hospital last May before the statewide realignment of patient-clients and staff was announced. The staff covers patient-client care 24 hours a day, seven days a week.