Tennessee Becomes 14th State Not Operating Any Large State Institutions
According to a recent news release, Tennessee has now become the 14th State to not operate any large, state insitutions as Greene Valley Developmental Center (GVDC) closed after more than 5 decades of operation. Tennessee now joins 13 other states and the District of Columbia that do not operate any large, state-run institutions for people with intellectual disabilities.
“People who lived at Greene Valley are now living rewarding lives in their communities,” Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (DIDD) Commissioner Debra K. Payne said. “We are closing an important chapter in the history of supporting people with disabilities in Tennessee. It’s important to celebrate the huge advancements we’ve made, while remembering the important role Greene Valley played for 56 years.”
“I want to take this opportunity to thank all Greene Valley employees for the excellent care they have provided to people with disabilities for more than 50 years,” Payne said. “Also, the entire Greene County community has supported the facility and the people who live there, and we are extremely grateful for their continued partnership as we support people with intellectual disabilities in the community.”
In 1995, Greene Valley, Clover Bottom and Nat. T Winston Developmental Centers were the subject of an investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice and a lawsuit was brought by advocates for people with disabilities over conditions at the three institutions. After two decades of work to improve the state’s service delivery system, all parties agreed to an Exit Plan in January 2015, which included the closure of GVDC.