September 2, 2014

Full federal certification achieved at BSDC for first time since 2007

The Beatrice State Developmental Center is once again fully, federally certified.

“We’re just so excited. It’s a happy day,” Jodi Fenner, State Director of the Division of Developmental Disabilities for the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services, responded when contacted by Nebraska Radio Network.

“For the first time since the decertification of Beatrice State Development Center, we now have all five ICF’s certified, fully certified and receiving federal funding,” Fenner said.

State officials broke up BSDC into five separate units after it lost federal certification and, thus, federal funding in 2007. Each of the units, called Intermediate Care Facilities, sought federal certification independently. Units must meet eight conditions during a state licensing survey and two federal surveys to receive certification. The final of the five units, the Kennedy Building, has passed its inspection and been certified by federal officials. Eight people live in the unit.

The other ICF’s include 400 State Building, State Cottages, Sheridan Cottages, and Solar Cottages.

State officials say BSDC underwent a comprehensive overhaul of its services, added medical and clinical professionals, increased the training of staff, improved quality assurance and made it easier for residents to integrate into communities and find jobs.

“And, essentially, we have rebuilt from the bottom up, other than our people,” Fenner said. “We’ve always had good, quality people; we just needed to put good systems in place to allow them to provide the services that we need.”

Fenner said it took a lot of hard work to win federal certification for all five units in Beatrice.

“It was very difficult. It involved really looking at every function on campus from the ground up and revamping and rebuilding certain functions,” according to Fenner.