Governor Quinn Announces Nearly $1 Million Investment for Mental Health Crisis Services in Kankakee County

For Immediate Release
Thursday, September 11, 2014

Press Line: (312) 814-3158
Katie Hickey

Funding Also Helps Create More Than Two Dozen Jobs in the Area

CHICAGO - Governor Pat Quinn today announced a nearly $1 million state investment to Riverside HealthCare to operate a mental health crisis residential program in Kankakee County. Today's announcement is part of Governor Quinn's agenda to maximize public health services and safety for every Illinois community.

"Kankakee County will now be able to provide crisis treatment for individuals with mental illness," Governor Quinn said. "The funding for this service is the next step in our mission to meet the health needs of everyone across Illinois."

"Riverside Medical Center is a highly respected provider of mental health and substance abuse treatment services in Kankakee County and regionally. They have provided state funded inpatient psychiatric services for more than a decade," Department of Human Services (DHS) Director Michelle R.B. Saddler said. "This funding will ensure that persons with mental illnesses in Kankakee County have access to services and resources necessary for them to heal and recover."

The state's $986,500 investment will help Riverside operate an eight bed single occupancy voluntary crisis residential center in space they purchased and remodeled at 260 S. Washington in Kankakee. The center, scheduled to open this month, will serve persons 18 years and older with a mental health diagnosis who do not meet the standards for inpatient care. Twenty five positions have been created for the center including professional psychiatric and nursing staff who will be available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Riverside already receives up to $500,000 from DHS to provide inpatient services to indigent persons admitted there as part of the Tinley Park Mental Health Center rebalancing project.

"Our community, like so many others, is affected by mental illness. Individuals in mental health crisis should not have to spend hours or sometimes days in observation in congested emergency rooms of hospitals when a more appropriate level of care can be provided," Riverside President and CEO Phil Kambic said. "Riverside's Crisis Residential Center offers those in need a less-restrictive, caring environment and focuses on returning the individual to supportive community living, which is a benefit for all."

"Focusing on behavioral health, stability and rehabilitation is crucial for anyone at any age who may be going through a crisis or feeling the effects of mental illness," Senator Toi Hutchinson (D - Chicago Heights) said. "Knowing that there is a well-staffed, professional and relaxed environment for those in need within the community to rely on is a comfort to me and the entire area."

Governor Quinn has long supported affordable and effective health care for all. Under Governor Quinn's leadership, Illinois proposed a five-year plan to transform the state's health care system, including strengthening the state's health care workforce, to meet the needs of Medicaid beneficiaries. If approved, the proposal would allow the state to obtain $5.2 billion in federal matching funds over five years to implement the plan.

Governor Quinn has signed multiple pieces of legislation to clarify and expand the scope of practice for certain health care professionals to ensure that Illinois residents have access to the health care they need. He also supports efforts to streamline and expedite veteran applications for professional licenses to benefit military families seeking employment and consumers seeking access to qualified health care professionals.