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May 04, 1978 - Image 9

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Publication:
Michigan Daily, 1978-05-04

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The Michigan Daily-Thursday, May 4, 1978-Page 9
TASK FORCE WILL MAKE RECOMMENDATIONS:
Plymouth findings due today

By MICHAEL ARKUSH
The special seven-member investiga-
tive task forceassigned by Governor
William Milliken to uncover cases of
abuse at the Plymouth Center for
Human Development and other state
mental institutions will release today a
report listing the committees findings
since it began its inquiry nearly two
months ago.
Wilbur Cohen, University education
school dean and chairman of the task
force, said yesterday the report con-
tains 25 different recommendations for
the Department of Mental Health
(DMH).
"We have made a responsible report
that covers the major elements in the
Plymouth case," Cohen said.
THE TASK force was appointed by
the Governor after a series of articles in
the Detroit Free Press described
various cases of abuse and neglect at

incurred by other state mental in-
stitutions. It is unknown how long that
investigation will take.
The task force has met continuously
in the last few weeks with represen-
tatives of the Attorney General's office,
the Civil Services Commission and the
governor's office. The committee also
met with Evelyn Provitt, acting direc-
tor at Plymouth, to evaluate different
hiring methods for new Plymouth at-
tendants.
Members of the Plymouth
Association for Retarded Citizens
(PARC), which is comprised mostly of
Plymouth residents held a meeting
Tuesday night to respond to last week's
recommendations by a second gover-
nor-appointed task force which called
for reprimands and firings for several
Plymouth attendants. This task force
also includes representatives of DSS,
DMH and the State Police.
THE TASK force also referred 33 in-

tors who have more direct control with
the residents, out of there not only
because of the abuses committed but
also for their coverups," said Brimhall.
BRIMHALL ALSO said PARC hopes
that several recommendations which
they submitted to Cohen's task force
will be included in today's report.
"Our lawyer was present at many of
the task force's meetings and we hope
that the committee will mention some
of our recommendations," said
Brimhall.
Cohen, however, said he never
received written list of recommen-
dations from PARC but confirms the
committee "took into consideration

testimony from the parents' group." He
said that Larry Gilbert, a lawyer for
PARC was present at the meetings and
contributed to the discussions.
BRIMHALL SAID yesterday that
PARC is also very concerned over the
amount of medical care residents are
receiving at Plymouth. She said she
heard reports that only two doctors
were employed at the institution, which
houses more than 800 residentr'
"We have to find out why they are not
hiring doctors," said Brimhall.
A spokesman for Evelyn Provitt,
however, claims there are three doc-
tors working at Plymouth and they are
looking for several more.

THIS ADlO
PINNER

'We have made a responsible report
that covers the major elements in the
Plymouth case.'
- Task force chairman
and University School of Education
Dean Wilbur Cohen

the center. The newspaper's findings
forced the transfer of Plymouth Direc-
tor William Womack to Lansing and the
resignation of DMH Director Donald
Smith.
The task force will hold its final
meeting on the Plymouth case in Lan-
sing today. Cohen said Milliken will at-
tend and receive the committee's
report.
Cohen's task force consists of
representatives from the Department
of Social Services (DSS), State Police
and DMH. Other members include
William Haber, a former dean at the
University, Erma Henderson,
president of the Detroit City Council
and Walter Green, vice president of the
National Bank of Detroit.
TODAY'S MEETING will not mark
the end of the task force's respon-
sibilities. Members will begin
discussing today the specific problems

cidents of alleged abuse to the State
Police for further invertigation and
recommended that the details surroun-
ding the deaths of five other residents
be reviewed by 'a team of outside
physicians to see if n-dical neglect was
a factor. It was also announced that
former Plymouth director William
Womack has until June 1to resign or he
will be fired from his Lansing post.
Most PARC members expressed ap-
proval over the tasl force's findings but
continued to insist that there is much
more work needed to be done.
"IT IS ONLY the beginning and we
don't want this thing dropped," said
Mary Brimhall, PARC member.
Brimhall said that everyone was
pleased by Womack's removal but
believe that more people must be
punished for abuses.
"We want more people at Plymouth
out of there. We want program direc-

More than fifty percent of the world is starving.
Another twenty percent, just plain hungry. And yet, in the
face of starvation, they have hope. Hope that the rains will
return to the African Plain. Hope that the Asian rice crop
will be bigger this year. Hope that someone, anyone, with
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life. Someone in the Peace Corps. They'd like to stand up
for themselves, these prisoners of fate, but they're just
too weak to stand up. But with the Peace Corps a flame
begins to flicker. They've seen other like you before. Seen
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and knew it was time for the talk to end and the work to
begin. They're very special people, these people. Totally
prepared to give everything they've got. And getting back
even more than they give. That's the beauty of the Peace
Corps. The work is hard and the pay is
lousy, and the progress comes a drop
at a time. But the rewards are inlinite.
Join the Peace Corps and then
take a good long look in the mirror.
You'll never look the same to
yourself again.
The Peace Corps is alive and
well. Call toll free:
800-424-8580. Or write: The
Peace Corps, Box A,
Washington, D.C. 20525
A Pubc Serv ce of Th s Newspaper
& The Advertising Council Felli1''

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