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Southern Illinois Mental Health Center May Lose Funding

ANNA, Ill. (AP) — A state-run mental health facility in southern Illinois could lose federal funding after regulators said workers failed to keep two patients from harming themselves.

The Clyde L. Choate Mental Health and Development Center in Anna came under fire earlier this month after investigators said employees didn't keep two developmentally disabled women from eating items such as snaps, batteries, coins, necklaces and pen clips. Both women suffer from pica, a disorder where they eat inedible objects.

If the 168-resident facility that's 19 miles south of Carbondale is decertified, it wouldn't be able to get federal Medicaid money.

A state Department of Human Services spokeswoman says Choate's working to fix the problems. The facility's 350 employees have been retrained to work with pica patients. The facility's also hired 17 new staff members.

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