Mental Health Battle Between Bettendorf and Genesis Continues

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BETTENDORF – There is a huge debate about whether another mental health facility is needed in the Quad City area now.

A company called Strategic Behavioral Health is trying to build a mental health facility in the city, but it’s failed to receive approval from the Iowa Health Facilities Council.

Bettendorf Mayor Bob Gallagher was our guest on Good Morning Quad Cities’ newest segment called ‘Breakfast With…’ Thursday, March 9. 2017. On it, we interview different people in the Quad Cities about issues affecting their community.

Thursday, Gallagher said the region as a whole needs to increase competition when it comes to businesses and hospitals. He says that way, the best services will come to the Quad City area.

"You need to look no further than every single day in the newspaper or on your news station, something along the lines of mental health issues comes up," Gallagher said. "It's an epidemic for our law enforcement agents. It's an epidemic in our court system. Something needs to be done."

Genesis Health System has fought hard against SBH trying to build in the Quad Cities, and after the interview on Thursday, Genesis Senior Communications Specialist Craig Cooper commented on the situation:

"Mayor Gallagher always wants to claim that we need beds. No, the State of Iowa needs chronic care, long-term mental health beds, but the governor continues to close state mental health hospitals that serve the patients who simply can't function when integrated into the public. What the state really needs is outpatient mental health services and support...It's not about beds. It is about services. Services are being expanded locally. Strategic Behavioral Health can only offer beds, not outpatient services."

We continue our Breakfast With segment Thursday, March 16, 2017. WQAD News 8's Angie Sharp will sit down with Jeff Kirwan and David Erickson of the Illinois Farm Bureau at Millennium Lanes in Aledo. Look for a web story the week of March 13, 2017 to find out how you can get your questions answered!

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