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QCA Today: December 1, 2015 PDF Print E-mail
QCA Today
Written by Administrator   
Tuesday, 01 December 2015 06:40

This feature collects articles published online by the following Quad Cities-area media outlets: Quad-City TimesRock Island Argus/Moline DispatchRiver Cities’ Reader, KWQC, and WQAD. It also includes items from and the state-politics sections of the Des Moines Register and the State Journal-Register.

If you'd like your media outlet included in this list, contact Jeff at  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Recent Items from Quad Cities Media

December 1, 2015

Filling a Major Mental-Health Gap: Can Local Hospitals Meet the Need for Inpatient Beds, or Is a New For-Profit Hospital the Answer? PDF Print E-mail
Written by Jeff Ignatius   
Thursday, 12 November 2015 05:04

In August, Tennessee-based Strategic Behavioral Health unveiled plans to build a 72-bed psychiatric hospital in Scott County. The for-profit company’s proposal – which will be considered by the Iowa Health Facilities Council in February – was greeted with enthusiasm by many public officials and community mental-health providers, dozens of whom wrote letters of support.

There were two notable dissenters: the area’s existing hospitals. Genesis Health System and UnityPoint Health Trinity wrote in opposition, with an overarching argument that they are addressing current shortcomings in the system. The two hospitals plan to add 65 new inpatient psychiatric beds in the Quad Cities by the middle of 2017.

The mental-health system is complex, and inpatient psychiatric beds represent a small but crucial part of the mix – providing care for those who are a danger to themselves or others. In truth, though, the present void in the local market is less an issue of physical infrastructure than the dearth of psychiatrists and other mental-health professionals in the area. That shortage has been a major factor in the Quad Cities having too few beds available for people with serious mental illnesses.

Strategic Behavioral Health’s proposal must also be considered in the context of a changing mental-health-care system. Iowa in 2014 shifted to 15 multi-county delivery areas throughout the state, with Scott County in a five-county region. Crucially, this system is intended to deliver care in “the least restrictive setting possible,” according to Iowa Department of Human Services Director Charles M. Palmer. That represents a shift away from institutional and inpatient psychiatric care.

Still, nobody disputes that the Quad Cities region desperately needs more inpatient psychiatric care, especially for minor and geriatric populations. As the 2013 report “A Safety Net in Peril: The State of Public Health in the Quad Cities” noted: “While the community mental-health centers have proven to be cost-effective in providing high-quality outpatient care and community services, the need for inpatient care has gone largely unmet.” The effect is that people with the most severe cases of mental illness are either not getting the proper level of treatment or are being transferred far away from the Quad Cities.

That hasn’t abated in the past two years, but now the area basically has two competing plans to address the shortage: Strategic Behavioral Health’s proposed hospital and the two local hospitals’ expansions of inpatient psychiatric care.

Winners and Favorites from Our 2015 Short-Fiction Contest PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Thursday, 29 October 2015 05:47

Our 2015 short-fiction contest featured 15 prompts from spooky fiction both famous (Dracula, Frankenstein, ’Salem’s Lot) and obscure. Entrants were required to include one of the prompts and craft a story in fewer than 250 additional words.

Here are our winners and favorites. Enjoy!

Making a Killing: Ballet Quad Cities Premieres "Murder Mystery at the Ballet," October 9 through 17 at the Scottish Rite Cathedral PDF Print E-mail
Written by Mike Schulz   
Thursday, 01 October 2015 06:00

Murder Mystery at the Ballet, cover photo by Joseph S. MaciejkoWith a foreboding Beethoven composition lending an incongruously somber air to the proceedings, Ballet Quad Cities’ ensemble is rehearsing. The brightly lit studio space finds the 10 company members engaged in all manner of movement during these five minutes of Ludwig van: two male dancers tussling in the foreground; another male skulking in the background; a petite female gliding amongst her fellow dancers and voicelessly addressing one with an accusatory glare.

A quartet of ensemble members collectively lunges and thrusts while, on the other side of the studio, a young woman makes seductive overtures toward one of her scene partners, and, eventually, nearly everyone lines up to gracefully pass a fist-sized, invisible prop from one dancer to another. That’s when choreographer Courtney Lyon comes up to me and, regarding the unseen object, whispers, “That’s a bottle of poison.”

Given that many of the company’s recent fall productions have found guest performer Domingo Rubio casually killing dancers in his role as Dracula, the appearance (or, at this moment, non-appearance) of a potential murder weapon in a Ballet Quad Cities endeavor shouldn’t raise anyone’s eyebrows. What might, however, is the degree of difficulty involved in the company’s 2015-16 season-opener Murder Mystery at the Ballet – a world premiere in which, as of that September 21 rehearsal, even its chief creator doesn’t know whodunit.

Enter the Reader’s 2015 Short-Fiction Contest: Spooky Stories! October 20 Deadline! PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Thursday, 24 September 2015 09:14

Our 2015 short-fiction contest features 15 creepy prompts, and the deadline for entries is 9 a.m. on October 20.

We’ll publish winners and favorites in the October 29 issue of the River Cities’ Reader – just in time for Halloween. Stories don’t need to be scary, but ... ’tis the season.

The rules:

A) Entries, including titles, must be 250 words or fewer – not counting the passage required in Rule G. We recommend being careful or leaving some breathing room.

B) Entries must be typed.

C) Entries must include the author’s name, mailing address, and daytime phone number.

D) Entries must be previously unpublished.

E) Entries must be received by 9 a.m. on Tuesday, October 20, 2015. We will accept submissions by e-mail ( This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it with “Fiction Contest” as the subject line); mail (532 W. 3rd St., Davenport IA 52801, with “Fiction Contest” on the envelope); and fax (563-323-3101). Please do not request confirmation of receipt.

F) People may submit as many as five entries, but no more than one for any given prompt.

G) All stories must include one of the 15 passages below. Outside of using a given passage within the story, no fidelity or relationship to the source is required.

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