Thursday, July 24, 2008
Outpatient referrals to Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic have been ceased after a recent string of deaths and serious incidents involving the mentally ill. The temporary moratorium will allow Department of Welfare officials to review the hospital's policies and programs. Because of patient confidentiality issues, the department cannot name the singular events that have led to this inspection of the clinic, but will admit that in the past few months, 6 out of 10 serious incidents involved patients of Western Psych. The most recent investigation began Friday, the day police found the body of Kia Johnson in Andrea Curry-Demus' apartment. Ms. Curry-Demus has been charged with slaying Kia Johnson and cutting her unborn child from her womb. Spokesperson for the Department of Welfare Stacy Witalec says the stoppage of referrals to Western Psych will last 3-4 weeks. Meanwhile, those who would be referred to Western Psych will be sent elsewhere for treatment.