BLUFFTON, Ind. (WANE) – Bluffton residents held one substance abuse treatment facility accountable at the Bluffton City Council Meeting Tuesday night. Councilmembers heard complaints from residents regarding how patients are released from the Praxis of Fort Wayne by Landmark Recovery facility.
The facility is a substance abuse treatment facility located in Bluffton, Indiana. Residents said a lot of things need to change immediately, especially their transportation process.
It was expected that Bluffton City Council would hear a corrective action report from Praxis of Fort Wayne by Landmark Recovery today, but the plan is still being finalized. Although the formal plan was not ready to be shown, Matthew Boyle, Founder and CEO of Landmark Recovery did address the public with what they know will be in that plan.
It included a revised transportation plan, new policy for holding patients’ belongings, and addressing the need for more nurses. Boyle said a lot of the transportation issues came from a misunderstanding and lack of training for their staff.
“We were not training our managers on what to do when patients wanted to leave early in terms of how to get them safely to their destination,” Boyle said.
The new transportation policy will require staff to offer every leaving patient a transportation plan, such as an Uber, Lyft, or a ride from the company’s van. Residents and Councilman Scott Mentzer said the death of 48-year-old Celeste Cuthbert was an eye opener that something needed to be done differently. Praxis was the last place Cuthbert was seen alive on January 1.
“It’s the proverbial straw that broke the camel’s back when that just doesn’t happen in a town our size. So it reached a level of urgency for all of us that it was time that more of us got involved in a more diligent matter,” Mentzer said.
Boyle was very adamant that he owns up to the mistakes of his company and made a promise to the community to make things right and do better.
“The most important thing is that we were not good community partners,” Boyle said, “When you’re in a small town you have to be involved and we were not involved.”
Bluffton resident Bill Stoller said he is pleased with what he heard, but is ready to see action behind the words.
“We need a visual change to see what’s going on, and that’s what we’re waiting for at this point,” Stoller said.
Praxis is under new leadership. Effective March 7, Drew Mack took over as executive director after holding a different position at their Indianapolis location. Praxis will check in with the Bluffton City Council every week and provide them updates on the changes they’re implementing.
Boyle said that they will partner with an outside nursing agency to fill in the gap nurses needed a their facility. There are 6 positions that need to be filled. Boyle said if they are not filled by Friday, the facility will not take any more patient admissions until they can meet the need.
The formal corrective action report plan will be given to Bluffton City Council by Friday, March 10, and residents can expect that plan to be posted to the City of Bluffton’s website on Monday.