Mullery opposed to White Haven closure

HARRISBURG, Aug. 14 – State Rep. Gerald Mullery is opposed to the closure of the White Haven Center, as announced today by the state Department of Human Services.

“On behalf of the residents, their families and the more than 400 caregivers at the White Haven Center, I am strongly against closing the facility. This is the only home many of the residents have ever known, and while some argue community care is more cost effective, it certainly won’t be the same,” Mullery said.

The department noted the declining census and cost per resident as key factors in the closure.  Mullery contends both statistics are “artificial” and “self-serving.”

“For years, the department has fought tooth and nail against admissions into our State Centers despite tens of thousands on the waiting list for care,” Mullery said. “To turn around and cite a low census and cost-per-resident figures is disingenuous at best and fraudulent at worst.

“This decision, made by a lame duck governor, not only will impact the most vulnerable residents of our commonwealth and their families, but will also dramatically affect the Greater White Haven community. Many of the small, family-owned businesses in the area rely upon the patronage of the center’s employees.

“A few years ago, when the state Department of Corrections announced it planned to close SCI-Retreat, SCI-Frackville and SCI-Waymart, the communities rallied and were successful in showing state officials that we needed to keep the facilities open. It’s my hope that we will be able to redouble those efforts and maintain the services provided at White Haven Center for years to come,” he said.