Arkansas State Hospital staff celebrates improvements

The Arkansas State Hospital is now up to standards with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Wednesday, the staff celebrated.

The psychiatric inpatient facility came under fire last year from the CMS and then entered an agreement with the government to make improvements. A survey showed the hospital failed to meet requirements for participation in the Medicare program. KATV reported in June 2011, that surveyors noted problems with treatment plans and activity levels of patients in the hospital.

A new report from CMS says the hospital has since met their standards. Governor Mike Beebe was at the hospital Wednesday morning to congratulate the staff.

"I, for one, celebrated when I saw the result of the survey," Beebe said. "But it's a never-ending task. It is something that we have to continue every dayto try to meet the demands and improve the quality of care."

Martha Gordon, who was named employee of the year for Arkansas State Hospital spoke before the staff. She says she and her fellow coworkers remained committed to meeting the CMS terms. Gordon said that they often "huddled" together as they tried to reach those goals.

"We had to redefine teamwork," she said. "We set up strategies to make improvementsThe staff showed great dedication by working together and going the extra mile."

Jennifer Gallaher, head of the e Division of Behavioral Health Services said the improvements are only the beginning of the journey. "We plan to ensure this program becomes a model program for the nation," she said.

Arkansas State Hospital has nine units and 226 patient beds in three service areas: General Adult, Forensic, and Adolescent.