Champaign County detox center reopens


The Prairie Center lost more than $900,000 and were forced to close their detox center last August. Now the state has restored most of that funding but administrators worry they might close again in 2010 with a new contract agreement.

The Prairie Center plans to reopen in mid March, but that all depends on nurse staffing. The center layed off 22 employees in August and some vancancies will not be filled. But, they will restore nursing and tech positions.

Adminstrators say when they layed off nurses, most of them found jobs elsewhere. Now the problem is finding detox nurses to replace them and with this restored funding, that is about $80,000 short.

Prairie Center CEO Bruce Suardini says they hope they can remain open. Remaining open will depend upon the 2010 contract and they won't know the details of that agreement until May. The state is actually considering a new way to pay for these programs, instead of making contracts based on fee for services, the state wants to make contracts performance based.

Suardini says the Prairie Center actually saves the state money by keeping people out jails and hospital emergency rooms. It served more than 800 people last year.

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