Parents, Legislators Fight for Future of CVTC - - ABC13

Parents, Legislators Fight for Future of CVTC


Reporter: Lauren Compton l Videographer: Brian Whitesell

Madison Heights, VA - Parents and legislators are fighting for the future of institutions like the Central Virginia Training Center.

Even as the state is trying to figure out how it will pay the estimated $2 billion to comply with the Department of Justice's recommendations for the mentally disabled.

The DOJ recommends moving mentally disabled residents from training centers to community centers. Supporters say these recommendations take the power away from families.

Martha Bryant says the survival of her sons Tyler and Taylor depend on having a place like CVTC.

"If they are forced out to less care they would likely die," said Bryant.

At any moment Bryant says they could face a medical emergency like this Sunday when Tyler had a high fever, and was fighting to breathe.

"The doctor was in the same building. We had the diagnosis, and an antibiotic within an hour," said Bryant.

A bill passed in the house on Thursday that may offer Bryant some hope of keeping her sons at CVTC. With this bill a patient could not be removed from a training center without consent of a guardian.

Senator Steve Newman says the bill is a short fix to a big problem, and he fears is the DOJ's real goal is to close all training centers.

"When a similar report was sent to Georgia the result was the closure of the training centers there," said Sen. Newman.

Community center representatives like Jack Wall from Wall Residences met at CVTC on Thursday to discuss the health care services they offer. He says the type of care will be different at a community center.

"It is more difficult to provide round the clock care services," said Wall.

But, he says there are facilities that could serve patients that need this.

"Although we do have homes have that nurses in them living in the home that would be available 24-hours a day," said Wall

Several employees at CVTC are concerned about what this all means for their jobs. CTVC is Amherst County's biggest employer. And, there's still no clear answer for those employees.

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