Alaska’s only state-owned psychiatric hospital is now being managed by a for-profit company.
Alaska Department of Health and Social Services Commissioner Adam Crum announced Friday he assumed management of the Alaska Psychiatric Institute in Anchorage and immediately contracted with Wellpath Recovery Solutions to manage the facility, with oversight from the state.
The move comes after federal investigators found more than 80 substantial deficiencies from July to December. Among the problems were an individual with an intellectual disability being strapped onto a restraint table and was briefly left alone, crying, in a dark room. Another patient five times drank hand sanitizer when given “alone time.”
Crum said in a release that immediate steps were needed to protect patients and staff, and to ensure complete compliance with federal regulations.
- President Trump on Friday declared a national emergency to get money for a border wall that Congress refused to fund. He plans to divert $3.6 billion from military construction accounts, and that could drain money from Alaska projects.
- Gov. Dunleavy's proposed budget does away with about 25% of K-12 funding and cuts the University of Alaska system’s funding by 41%. Sitka School District's superintendent says, "If implemented, it will decimate public education in Alaska."
- Winter storms and blustery weather buffeting the Bering Sea this month have reduced sea ice coverage by almost 25% since late January. Sea ice in the Bering Sea is typically solid and stable this time of year, but scientists and communities are observing large areas of open water, and where there is ice, much of it is shifting.
- Anchorage resident Katie Van says she was charged undue sales taxes on clothing she bought from outside of Alaska. But LuLaRoe says they fixed their sales tax automation software and already made refunds.