Capital Clicks

Glenwood Resource Center to close in 2024 following resident abuse, poor medical care

By: - April 7, 2022 4:45 pm

Gov. Kim Reynolds and other state leaders announced on April 7, 2022 that the Glenwood Resource Center would close in 2024. (Photo by Jared Strong/Iowa Capital Dispatch)

An Iowa residential facility for people with severe disabilities will close in 2024, following a federal investigation into abuse of residents and poor medical care at the home.

A Department of Justice (DOJ) investigation in 2019 and 2020 found that staff at the Glenwood Resource Center failed to provide adequate medical care and abused and performed experiments on residents. 

“Iowans with intellectual and developmental disabilities deserve quality care that aligns with the expectations of the DOJ,” Gov. Kim Reynolds said in a news release. “Our best path forward to achieve those standards is closing GRC and reinvesting in a community-based care continuum that offers a broad array of services.”

Glenwood will remain operational over the next two years as residents find “community placements” or move to Iowa’s Woodward Resource Center, a similar facility 150 miles from Glenwood. The state and the Department of Human Services will work with care providers across the state to accommodate the people living at Glenwood, according to the news release.

“While necessary, the decision to close the Glenwood Resource Center is a difficult one that I take very seriously,” Reynolds said. “For many residents, it’s the only home they’ve ever known. I am fully committed to a seamless and successful transition of care for them, their families and the staff at Glenwood.”

House Speaker Pat Grassley and Senate Majority Leader Jack Whitver promised the Legislature would support residents and staff of the facility through the transition.

“This was a difficult decision, and we are committed to ensuring that the transition process thoughtfully addresses the concerns of everyone impacted by the closure,” Whitver said.

Democratic leaders Sen. Zach Wahls and Rep. Jennifer Konfrst issued a statement Thursday recognizing “an obligation to ensure the safest and smoothest transition possible for all those impacted by the planned closure.”

“This decision became inevitable because of years of indifference and neglect shown to the Glenwood community by Governor Reynolds and Republican lawmakers,” Wahls and Konfrst said.

A timeline posted by the Department of Human Services shows about 60 current Glenwood residents will transfer to the Woodward center by July 2023. The remaining residents will move to community placements by July 2024, when Glenwood will close and the state will sell the property.

Glenwood staff will be eligible for retention bonuses during the transition.

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Katie Akin
Katie Akin

Katie Akin is a former Iowa Capital Dispatch reporter. Katie began her career as an intern at PolitiFact, debunking viral fake news and fact-checking state and national politicians. She moved to Iowa in 2019 for a politics internship at the Des Moines Register, where she assisted with Iowa Caucus coverage, multimedia projects and the Register’s Iowa Poll. She became the Register’s retail reporter in early 2020, chronicling the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on Central Iowa’s restaurants and retailers.