WPAS wins access to RHCs sought in lawsuit


WPAS secured the access to state residential habilitation centers (RHCs) sought in a lawsuit filed in federal court last May. In an agreement entered into on October 16, Norm Davis, Director of the Division of Developmental Disabilities, granted WPAS the access to clients, facilities, records, and information about guardians that WPAS had demanded in the lawsuit.

In its lawsuit, WPAS claimed that the access to the RHCs was required by federal law and that the actions by the superintendents of these facilities, as well as Davis, to deny this access interfered with WPAS responsibility and ability to conduct investigations into abuse and neglect at the facilities.

The October 16 agreement grants access to Fircrest, Frances Haddon Morgan, Lakeland Village, Rainier and Yakima Valley RHCs. Under terms of the agreement, DDD also agreed to develop an access agreement covering WPAS access to community-based residential programs and facilities by April 1, 1997.

Executive Director Mark Stroh said, "we're pleased we reached the agreement and believe it will be the basis for a better understanding between WPAS and DDD staff."