After news of mistreating children from Alaska and elsewhere, Montana facility closes doors

After news of mistreating children from Alaska and elsewhere, Montana facility closes doors

Two remaining Alaska patients look for new homes

After details about the mistreatment of patients came to light earlier this year, a Montana health care facility that housed multiple Alaskans is closing its doors.

Acadia Montana, which is part of the Acadia Health Care Corporation, is closing, Alaska Department of Health and Social Services spokesperson Clinton Bennett said Wednesday. As of June 13, the facility had three patients from Alaska, Bennett said.

A detailed series of articles from the Montana Standard in April showed that Acadia Montana was regularly injecting patients with chemical restraints. Investigators from Alaska, according to the report, found that patients “did not like injectable medication (IM) and when they receive an IM they go to bed and sleep all day.”

Several states and tribal governments had been sending children to the facility for treatment, according to the article, including Alaska.

[PFAS chemical contamination will cost Alaska millions]

On June 13, Bennett said one of the three patients from Alaska was about to be discharged from the facility. Bennett said the decision of whether to keep the two remaining children in the facility was left up to the parents.

“The families of the children who had their children in care at Acadia Montana have requested that their children stay in the care of the facility,” Bennett wrote in an email. “Families were asked if they wanted to remove their child from the facility and they expressed no interest in a lateral transfers to a different facility nor did they desire to look at step-down care back in Alaska.”

In an email Wednesday, Bennett said the Alaska Division of Behavioral Health is working with Acadia staff to find new homes for the remaining children by July 31. The facility is set to close on that date, so the families need to find new arrangements by then and both families are working to bring the children back to Alaska.

“Right now there are only two Alaska youth at the facility, as one of the original three has been discharged home to Alaska,” Bennett said. “Of the remaining two, one has a discharge home date of June 24, 2019, the remaining youth’s family is working on a discharge home to Alaska as well.”

• Contact reporter Alex McCarthy at Follow him on Twitter at @akmccarthy.

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