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DC Mental Health Dept. Begins Realigning Workforce For Next Phase of System Restructuring

Monday, November 18, 2002

(Washington, DC) The DC Department of Mental Health is realigning its workforce, which is the next phase of restructuring the agency. DMH Director Martha B. Knisley announced to employees today that the agency will conduct a reduction in force to accomplish the realignment. Consumers will be provided the mental health services they need for their recovery throughout this phase of restructuring. DMH is responsible for creating and operating the District's new public mental health system.

Director Knisley said, "The reduction in force will be carried out fairly, respectfully and in compliance with applicable District regulations. Assistance will be available to help employees cope with the emotional stress of the RIF. Training will be made available to employees to assist them with obtaining other positions. Placement in other District government agencies will be actively pursued."

She explained that decisions about the reduction in force will be guided by the overall goals of restructuring the agency as stipulated in the Transitional Receiver's Court-ordered Plan for the District's new public mental health system.

Today's announcement was made to inform employees that the two-year restructuring program had entered the phase when a net reduction in the overall workforce would occur and that RIF notices likely would be sent out in January 2003.

Restructuring the Department has been underway for two years and is necessary to operate a community-based public mental health system that is recovery-based, consumer-driven, choice-driven, accessible and culturally competent as called for in the Receiver's Plan. During this time, various measures have been taken to minimize the number of employees affected by the RIF, including providing four "early out" retirement opportunities.