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Former Kansas hospital chief to run Delaware state facility

Greg Valentine has a new job

By KHI NEWS SERVICE | August 25, 2011

Greg Valentine, the former superintendent of Osawatomie State Hospital and the Rainbow Mental Health Facility in Kansas City, Kan. has been named director of the Delaware Psychiatric Center in New Castle, Del.

“Greg has an excellent reputation and has received many accolades for his work,” Delaware Health and Social Services Secretary Rita Landgraf said in a prepared statement. “I am honored that he has accepted this position and welcome the knowledge, skills, and energy he will bring to (the center) and to Delaware."

The 224-bed facility, is Delaware’s only state-run hospital for the mentally ill. It includes acute-care and correctional units.

Valentine was superintendent at both Rainbow and the Osawatomie State Hospital for almost six years. He and Larned State Hospital Supt. Robert Connell were terminated July 1. Both were told their services were no longer needed.

In an interview with the Lawrence Journal-World, Valentine attributed his firing to his boss, Kansas Department of Social and Rehabilitations Services Secretary Rob Siedlecki, wanting “…people loyal to the secretary and the governor.”

Gov. Sam Brownback is a Republican. Delaware Gov. Jack Markell is a Democrat.

A month prior to Valentine's firing by the Brownback administration, Osawatomie State Hospital received a zero-deficiency rating following a surprise survey by inspectors from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Zero deficiency means no problems were found.

In her statement, Landgraf noted that Valentine also had been instrumental in reducing the two Kansas hospitals’ readmission rates, lengths of stay, and use of seclusion and restraints.

Valentine is scheduled to begin his new job Sept. 6.

Last month, Delaware Health and Social Services entered an agreement with the U.S. Department of Justice, agreeing to expand access to community-based services for the mentally ill.

An earlier investigation had found that more than 70 percent of the psychiatric center’s patients could have been served in a less-restrictive setting if one were available.

Department of Justice officials have said they are investigating similar concerns in Kansas.

The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that states are constitutionally obliged to provide services for the disabled in settings most appropriate to their needs.