Regional News in Review – June 2012

ApplyMN is single online application for help   Minnesota residents can now apply for public assistance through one application. Minnesotans […]


ApplyMN is single online application for help

 

Minnesota residents can now apply for public assistance through one application. Minnesotans in need of health care, nutrition assistance, child care assistance and emergency assistance can now apply online through applymn.dhs.mn.gov

“ApplyMN is an easy, secure way for Minnesotans in need to apply for assistance from more than one program,” said Human Services Commissioner Lucinda Jesson. “This will streamline the application process, increase administrative efficiencies and is an important step in our effort to make government services easier to navigate.”

Every month more than 60,700 Minnesotans apply for health care and other human services programs. ApplyMN is expected to improve access to various human services programs for low-income Minnesotans.

It is a “smart application” that asks applicants questions based on the programs they apply for and answers they submit. ApplyMN is connected to a prescreening tool that applicants can use to check potential eligibility for various programs, as well as a user authentication tool that allows applicants to register and authenticate their identities, save and retrieve partially completed applications and see a list of previously completed applications. Applications can continue to be submitted on paper form. [Source: Minnesota Department of Human Services]



Two incidents raise question

 

Prosecutors have charged a Minnesota Security Hospital patient with attempted murder for allegedly stabbing his mother while on a pass at a nearby park. Burton James Ewing Jr., 48, remains in the Nicollet County Jail.

Minnesota Public Radio News reports Ewing was in a transition program at the St. Peter hospital for adults classified as mentally ill and dangerous. He left on a pass with his mother May 8. He was arrested after sheriff’s deputies arrived at Seven Mile Regional Park and found him attacking his mother. She was hospitalized in critical condition. According to court documents, Ewing began beating his mother in the head with a bicycle seat while she was still in the driver’s seat of her car. He then attacked her with cooking tongs and a knife.

Ewing is committed to St. Peter because back in 1998 he murdered his sister in her Shoreview home by bludgeoning her with a hammer. He was found not guilty by reason of mental illness. State officials are now questioning why he was allowed out on a day pass.

The stabbing was one of two incidents that day tied to the St. Peter Regional Treatment Hospital. That same afternoon William Daniel Pfeffer Jr. escaped from the south side of the treatment center campus.

He escaped when left alone on his way to or from his work detail. Pfeffer was tracked just south of the campus to Seven Mile Regional Park. But by the time law enforcement was hot on his trail Ewing was stabbing his mother. [Source: Minnesota Public Radio, KARE-11]



State facility is criticized for resident’s death

 

Neglect occurred at a state-run facility in Bloomington last year in a case that suggests a worker might not have provided CPR to an unresponsive resident.

According to the Minnesota Department of Health and to a reports made public May 29, the incident occurred in September 2011 at the residential facility for people with disabilities. that is part of the Minnesota State Operated Community Services program.

The resident, who had diagnoses that included moderate mental retardation and chronic lung disease, was treated at an urgent-care center for a cough and congestion. In the next week or so, the resident received prescribed treatments as directed but started having trouble on the evening of Sept. 16. Staff cared for the resident at several points that evening and early the morning of Sept. 17 by providing medicine for the resident’s cough and shortness of breath.

At 6:30 a.m., a worker found the resident unresponsive. The worker told investigators that he called 911, grabbed a face mask for CPR and performed CPR until paramedics arrived. But a second facility worker interviewed by investigators claimed the first worker initially reported to her that he did not initiate CPR. The second worker stated that she looked at the CPR mask, and it was dusty, and did not appear to have been moved from its location in the kitchen, the report stated.

The Health Department found both the worker and facility were responsible for the neglect. The worker was trained in CPR, the report noted, and the facility has policies and procedures for staff to respond in an emergency. Human Services is reviewing the findings and will be taking additional corrective action as appropriate. The employee cited in the report is no longer employed at the site. [Source: Pioneer Press]



Seclusion box use questioned

 

A Waupun, Wisc. parent has pulled her autistic son out of school after teachers repeatedly used a seclusion box to discipline him. Mandy Rennhack met with special education teachers for her 9-year-old son, Ty, and told them to stop placing him in the 5-foot by 7-foot plywood box when he was having discipline issues and that she would pick him up. Months later, Rennhack says she was dismayed to learn Ty had spent time in the box once again.

Waupun Interim District Administrator Donald Childs told the Fond du Lac Reporter placing a child whose behavior has the potential to cause harm to himself or others into a secluded padded room is an accepted practice in the state. A state education official will visit the school, Rock River Intermediate, to review the case. [Source: Fond du Lace Reporter]

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