GRC Superintendent Resigns

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Booth's departure comes as a surprise

By Joel Stevens, Associate Editor

After less than six months on the job, Glenwood Resource Center Superintendent R. Scot Booth abruptly resigned on Thursday.

Booth was brought in last October to oversee the state-operated residential care and treatment facility for people with mental and developmental disabilities. His resignation was effective the end of the day Thursday.

A statement released by the Iowa Department of Human Services on Friday did not give a reason for Booth's resignation.

Assistant superintendent Kelly Brodie has been named interim superintendent.

In a November interview, Booth was asked what his long term plans were for the facility he was hired to run.

“My long term plan is my background: I am a teacher,” said Booth. “I've been a consultant and gone to some pretty horrible looking places and helped them. My plan this first few months is to get very familiar and teach. Every meeting is a teaching moment. You just teach. Long term, obviously, is to continue the fine work that's already started here. My eyes have already told me this is not a 'frying pan' situation. They've done some good stuff.”

Today, the state's largest facility residential care facility is left looking for a new superintendent.

A national search has been launched to find a successor to Booth, according to the DHS release.

“I very much appreciate Scot’s willingness to move to Iowa far from family,” said Jeanne Nesbit, administrator of the Mental Health and Disability Services Division of DHS in Friday's statement. “We appreciate his service and especially his expertise in implementing the Olmstead principles.”

The Olmstead decision requires states to seek community rather than institutional placements for people with mental disabilities, assuming that professionals have determined that community placement is appropriate and can be “reasonably accommodated.”

Discharges to community settings have exceeded admissions over the last several years at GRC, according to the DHS statement, which today is home to about 300 people compared to 390 six years ago.

Brodie held the same post for several months prior to the appointment of Booth last year. She will continue on in her capacity as the facility's assistant superintendent for treatment support services.

When reached on Friday, Brodie said she was “surprised” by Booth's sudden resignation but declined to elaborate.

Attempts to reach Booth were unsuccessful.