Hillcrest Family Services will discontinue two programs due to lack of funding

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DUBUQUE, Iowa (KCRG) - Hillcrest Family Services in Dubuque is discontinuing two programs due to funding shortages.

The Sub-acute Mental Health Services program in Dubuque will end next month, along with the Mental Health Center located in Monticello.

The sub-acute program provides in-patient experiences for people with brain health issues, and the Monticello facility offers things like therapy and medication management.

Hillcrest's interim president and CEO, Francie Tuescher, says both programs have been running at a deficit for about the last year.

Tuescher stated. " With continued constricted reimbursements and lack of support from the state level, we cannot continue to operate the Sub-acute program." She added, "The Jones County center closure is based on low utilization. Fortunately, patients there can access services at other providers in the Monticello area."

Hillcrest says the closures will affect about 15 employees. Tuescher says there are plans to help those workers find new roles within Hillcrest, or help them network with other area providers.

Hillcrest Board of Directors chairperson, Ali Fuller, said that the board has battled with this type of decision for a while.

Fuller said, "We know that when we make fiscal decisions, we are also making decisions that impact people’s lives. Our board was unified in making these closure decisions after reviewing months of budget data and watching the downward trend in the utilization of these programs. We, like other mental health care organizations in the state, are increasingly frustrated at the lack of funding from the state level. It leaves us very little choice but to cut programming that just cannot sustain itself,”