Timeline of state's involvement in treatment of mental disabilities
Pauls Valley State School is established.
Oklahoma Institution for the Feeble Minded in Enid is created. The center has many name changes until it becomes known as Enid State School.
Pauls Valley State School becomes a state center for the mentally disabled. It was previously the State Training School for White Boys and a mental hospital.
In December, a legislative task force visiting the Pauls Valley school reveals problems, including funds that should be used for care going toward maintenance of buildings.
Centers and hospitals run by the state Department of Mental Health and Retardation are transferred to the state Department of Public Welfare. At the time of the transfer, there were 2,300 residents at Enid and Pauls Valley and 709 employees.
President Kennedy calls for deinstitutionalization and asks that methods be found to educate the mentally disabled in the community. In April, experts gathered at a conference in Stillwater recommend that the mentally disabled should be allowed to make contributions to the community and not be denied the “normal functions of a human being.”
A third institution for the mentally disabled, Hissom Memorial Center, is opened near Sand Springs, in part to alleviate crowding in Enid and Pauls Valley. The center was deemed state-of-the-art at the time.
Medicare and Medicaid were established through passage of the Social Security amendments. Many changes ensue, including staffing requirements, treatment plans, use of medications and what is considered an appropriate physical environment.
The approval of Medicaid home and community-based waivers allows residents to receive reimbursement for care outside of group and state homes.
A U.S. Justice Department investigation into the Enid and Pauls Valley State Schools finds conditions that “cause grievous harm” to residents. Federal officials say funding for the Hissom, Pauls Valley and Enid centers could stop if conditions aren't improved.
Parents form a group called Homeward Bound, which files a class-action lawsuit on behalf of residents at Hissom demanding it be closed.
A federal judge rules Hissom Memorial Center is in violation of federal law and the civil rights of its clients. DHS orders it closed.
In April, the Robert M. Greer Center becomes operational as a 48-bed unit of the Enid State School, serving 52 people with a dual diagnosis of mental retardation and mental illness.
Enid State School and Pauls Valley State School are renamed the Northern and Southern Oklahoma Resource Centers, respectively. The Greer Center begins operation as a separate entity although remaining on the Enid campus.
In May, Hissom officially closes. Former residents say the mentally disabled are better off without it and DHS officials say the institutional model doesn't work.
Last check paid by DHS as a part of the Hissom class-action lawsuit.
Budget deficits of nearly $40 million force DHS to eliminate jobs within Developmental Disabilities Services Division.
DHS officials propose a plan to pare down the Pauls Valley and Enid Centers from 245 to 120 by August 2013. If not disapproved by the Legislature, the plan will go forward.