GLENWOOD, Iowa — Governor Reynolds on Thursday announced that the state will close the Glenwood Resource Center within two years. The announcement, made jointly with Republican leaders at the State Capitol, comes less than four months after Iowa DHS Director Kelly Garcia told families of residents that there were no plans to do so.
Glenwood Resource Center is an intermediate care facility for people with intellectual disabilities, located in Mills County. There are currently 152 residents at the facility that employees 716 people, according a DHS spokesperson. Governor Reynolds announced via e-mail on Thursday that the facility will close in 2024.
That closure means that all of those residents will need new homes and those hundreds of employees will need to find new jobs. According to the Governor’s news release, residents will be transitioned to community facilities or moved to Woodward Resource Center – the state’s other facility for full-time care of those with intellectual disabilities. The state is also promising job placement help for the hundreds of employees who’ll lose their jobs.
The Glenwood Resource Center has a long, troubled history. In 2019, the center’s medical director was accused of performing studies on sexual arousal and withholding water from residents. The state faced a federal lawsuit after those allegations were proven true during a federal investigation. A report from the US Justice Department last year found that the state was violating the Americans with Disabilities Act at the facility.
The possibility of closing the center was addressed by Kelly Garcia last year. The Des Moines Register reports that in December 2021, Garcia told families “there are no plans to close” either the Glenwood or Woodward Resource Centers.
According to the governor’s news release, the state of Iowa is unable meet the requirements of the Department of Justice to provide the expected services and workforce that residents would require. . “Iowans with intellectual and developmental disabilities deserve quality care that aligns with the expectations of the DOJ. Our best path forward to achieve those standards is closing GRC and reinvesting in a community-based care continuum that offers a broad array of services. That’s what we’re prepared to do to continue to meet the needs of Iowans,” the governor said in statement.
Iowa DHS employees will be in Glenwood this week to meet with residents, their families and employees. Up to date information on the closing of the facility will also be updated on a website dedicated to the DOJ investigation of the center.