CHARLESTON, W.Va. – The state Department of Health and Human Resources is no longer in contempt of court.
On Friday, Kanawha County Circuit Judge Duke Bloom lifted the contempt filing when the DHHR submitted a plan for pay raises for workers at the state’s two psychiatric hospitals — Mildred Mitchell Bateman Hospital in Huntington and William R. Sharpe, Jr. Hospital in Weston — during a show cause hearing.
As part of the DHHR plan, pay for some workers will be brought in line with those at facilities located near the two hospitals.
The contempt order was first issued a month ago after Bloom found the DHHR had not adequately addressed a number of ongoing issues, including staffing shortages, at the two facilities. He told the DHHR want he wanted in its plan and they came back with the language the judge had ordered and he approved it.
Bloom rejected three DHHR proposals, offered in June, that had included turning the mental health facilities into private facilities or changing the classifications of the workers to allow for more scheduling flexibility.
State DHHR Secretary Karen Bowling issued the following statement Friday evening:
“I am very pleased that Judge Bloom lifted the contempt order in today’s court hearing. My focus continues to be supporting the hardworking and dedicated employees at our two mental health facilities as they provide quality health care to those we serve.”