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Article published October 27, 2012
Stacy clients victims
Joseph H. Brose Butler Township
As a former employee at Irene Stacy Community Mental Health Center, I was amazed and grateful for the people I worked with at the center and their dedication to helping many individuals in need. Although I no longer work at the center, I am proud to say I was part of something more than just a job — helping those in need. It wasn’t just me who was part of this organization; my two sisters also worked there for many years. Now, all of us have left, and by the sounds of it, we left just in time. With the hiring of Steve Laubacher, people have become terrified to go to work. Will they have a job tomorrow? Will their co-workers be there? Will their boss be fired? Will the doors even be open? I understand that the center is in financial need, but Laubacher and the board of directors are addressing the situation in an absurd, non-professional way. Yes, I agree layoffs probably should be part of the overall plan, but that should have happened years ago when the board learned what kind of financial problems the center had. With Laubacher’s hiring in February, many people were fired from the center — people who put their hearts and souls into their work there for decades. With the news about the latest firings of Lisa Moss, chief financial officer, and Linda Geibel, clinical director, I cannot fathom how Laubacher or the board could let these two hardworking professionals go. Oddly enough, with the departure of Moss and Geibel, three of the five medical staff members handed in their resignations. Three out of five. Now, not only must the chief financial officer and clinical director be replaced, but Laubacher and the board also must find three medical staff members. Finding three more medical personnel not only is going to be extremely tough for this type of organization, but Irene Stacy can’t make money if it doesn’t have any or enough doctors. To take this one step further, the resignations will have a bigger impact on the clients of Irene Stacy. In working with individuals who struggle with mental illness, intellectual disabilities and substance-abuse disorders, any change is rough, let alone getting rid of their whole support system. The sad thing is that with all these major changes, the clients of Irene Stacy have been put on the back burner and are suffering the most. As for Laubacher, I wonder how his lawsuit is coming against his former employer who fired him. I hope the county commissioners take seriously the letter that was sent to them by Irene Stacy staff members.