Polis administration withheld report on mental health center problems

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Polis administration withheld report on mental health center problems


A sign outside Grand Junction-based Mind Springs Health. Photo: Dean Humphrey, COLab

A report detailing a pattern of “severe, life-threatening” errors at a Western Slope mental health center was withheld from the public’s view and goes unmentioned on a state transparency website.

What’s happening: Grand Junction-based Mind Springs Health gave dozens of outpatient clients high doses of the tranquilizer benzodiazepine over the course of a year, threatening the lives of nearly half of them.

Why it matters: The findings are just now being made public as part of an investigation by the Colorado News Collaborative, including the Colorado Springs Gazette.

  • The Department of Health Care Policy and Financing never warned the public, even after an investigation into a whistleblower’s complaint, and didn’t update the Mind Springs website — where the public is supposed to have access to safety information.
  • The Polis administration also fought the public release of a letter detailing the findings for weeks and still won’t divulge additional documents despite pledges of transparency.

The big picture: Mind Spring’s CEO Sharon Raggio and two top executives resigned in recent months as the news collaborative unearthed significant failures to provide care for vulnerable patients, despite receiving tens of millions in state and federal tax dollars.

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