- Associated Press - Monday, December 5, 2016

COLUMBUS, Neb. (AP) - An organization is closing its Columbus residential treatment facility for people with mental illness and substance abuse issues after more than a decade of service.

John Griffith, president of Catholic Charities of the Omaha Archdiocese, said the organization’s board decided in August to create a transition plan so other providers would have a chance to fill the void, the Columbus Telegram (https://bit.ly/2g20OjZ ) reported.

According to Griffith, the decision is part of a broader shift by Catholic Charities away from government-funded programs. He said the reimbursement rate from government agencies has not kept pace with the cost of care.

“The board struggled with the decision and it took many months to work through,” Griffith said. “We’ve been in this business for many years. We had a strong reputation and dedicated staff and have been very blessed to be able to touch a lot of lives.”

The transition of discharging patients or helping them transfer to other treatment centers is expected to be completed by the end of the year. Outpatient services are still available locally through East Central District Health Department and Colegrove Counseling Center. Catholic Charities’ outpatient care in Omaha will continue into next year as well.

Griffith said Catholic Charities will continue to look for alternative ways to serve Columbus without the involvement of government funding.

“We’ve been blessed to be part of the community for many years and hope that we will continue to be in Columbus,” he said. “Catholic Charities is not going away.”

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Information from: Columbus Telegram, https://www.columbustelegram.com


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