Ombudsman Committee for Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities
Also known as:
Ombudsman Advisory Committee
Active dates:2005 -
Function: The Committee advises and assists the Ombudsman in developing policies, plans and programs to benefit persons with mental illness, developmental disabilities, chemical dependence, and emotional disturbance. The Committee provides the "eyes and ears" on what is happening in the community, and advises the Ombudsman on opportunities to improve delivery of services and identify gaps in the delivery system.
In 1987, the Legislature created the Office of the Ombudsman for Mental Health and Mental Retardation to promote the highest attainable standards of treatment, competence, efficiency, and justice for persons receiving services or treatment for mental illness, mental retardation or a related condition, chemical dependency, or emotional disturbance.
In 2005 the Office was renamed from the Ombudsman Committee for Mental Health and Mental Retardation to the Office of the Ombudsman for Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities. See 2005 Laws of MN, Chapter 56, H.F.No. 487, an act relating to state government; changing terminology for mentally retarded, mental retardation, physically handicapped, and similar terms.
The Ombudsman Advisory Committee also has a five member Medical Review Subcommittee charged with the review of deaths and serious injuries in facilities and programs that serve the Office's clients. This function is critical to assure that deaths of mental disabled persons are not caused by abuse or neglect. Via medical alerts, the information gleaned from reviews is shared to improve the service delivery system, and therefore the lives of the clients of the agency.
The Ombudsman Committee for Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities was reviewed by the Legislative Commission on Planning and Fiscal Policy (LCPFP) in 2013 as part of their biennial duty required by Minn. Stat. 3.885 Subd. 11. The LCPFP's 2013 Recommendations called for keeping the committee.
As of 2013, the Ombudsman Committee consists of 15 members appointed by the governor to three-year terms. Members shall be appointed on the basis of their knowledge of and interest in the health and human services system subject to the ombudsman's authority. In making the appointments, the governor shall try to ensure that the overall membership of the committee adequately reflects the agencies, facilities, and programs within the ombudsman's authority and that members include consumer representatives, including clients, former clients, and relatives of present or former clients; representatives of advocacy organizations for clients and other individuals served by an agency, facility, or program; human services and health care professionals, including specialists in psychiatry, psychology, internal medicine, and forensic pathology; and other providers of services or treatment to clients.
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