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AFSCME Public Policy Analysis Department Records

 Collection
Identifier: LR001994
Part 1: The Health and Mental Health series of this collection includes some correspondence and reports related to health and mental health care issues such as nursing homes, home health services, patient rights, health care worker protections, health care worker training, mental health laws, hospital staffing, and community support programs.

The Health Organizations series includes some limited correspondence with and/or information about various national organizations that were involved with health and mental health issues.

Another series covers the National Economy and State and Local Finance Issues. This series includes correspondence, reports, articles, and other information concerning subjects such as the federal budget, inflation, tax reform, energy, wage and price controls, and the Comprehensive Employment and Training A ct of 1978 (CETA).

The collection also includes a series concerning task forces which were formed in 1972 and 1977 to resolve administrative and financial problems at the Wayne County General Hospital (WCGH) at Eloise (located in western Wayne County, Michigan, approximately 16 miles west of downtown Detroit). This series provides some insights into the problems that large urban public hospitals such as WCGH were facing as a result of deinstitutionalization.

The Briefings, Speeches, and Testimonies series includes a selection of Briefing Books that AFSCME Department of Public Policy Analysis prepared in 1979. The books offer discussion and analysis of a variety of important national economic issues. This series also includes several AFSCME International Executive Board (IEB) reports and transcripts of speeches/testimonies that were given by various AFSCME national and state directors.

Important Subjects: Deinstitutionalization Health care teams Health services—Economic aspects Mental health services—legislation Wayne County General Hospital

Important Names: Carnevale, Anthony Patrick Dowling, Michael McGarragh, Robert Perlman, Nancy D. Savarese, James Wasserman, Donald Wurf, Jerry, 1919-
Part 1 Series Description: Series 1 (I): Deinstitutionalization, 1968-1980 Correspondence and reports related to the closing of public mental health treatment facilities across the United States in the mid to late 1970’s.

Series 2 (II): Health and Mental Health, 1973-1981 Correspondence and reports concerning nursing homes, home health services, patient rights, control of violent patients, and hospital costs. Also included are correspondence and reports concerning mental health laws, institutional staffing, employee protections, and mental health care worker career development. Some of the correspondence and reports relate to the Community Support Program (CSP), a pilot program of the National Institute of Mental Health.

Series 3 (III): Health Organizations, 1973-1981 Correspondence and reports related to various national organizations that are involved with health care, mental health program development, and/or administration.

Series 4 (IV): Wayne County General Hospital (WCGH), 1973- 1977 Correspondence, meeting minutes, and reports related to the WCGH Task Force. The Task Force was formed in June, 1972, with several reports and recommendations being generated in 1973. Another Task Force was formed in early 1977 to address a financial crisis at WCGH. Material concerning the work of this second task forces is also included in this series.

Series 5 (V): National Economy and State and Local Finance Issues, 1975-1980 The AFSCME Department of Public Policy Analysis kept up- to-date on budget, tax, and legislative matters that could potentially have negative affects on the union membership. This series includes correspondence and reports related to the national economy including topics such as the federal budget, inflation, unemployment, productivity, women/minority issues, and energy as well as wage and price controls set by the Carter Administration. Also includes correspondence and reports related to state and local finance issues such as tax policy and reforms, ballot initiatives, revenue sharing, spending limitations, and the Comprehensive Employment and Training Act of 1978 (CETA). Some reports concerning the international economy are also included in this series.

Series 6 (VI): Briefings, Speeches, and Testimonies, 1975-1980 The Briefing Books included in this series were prepared approximately on a bimonthly basis by the AFSCME Department of Public Policy Analysis. These books were intended to provide updates and analyses of major national economic issues that could impact AFSCME members. This series also includes some correspondence and reports by the AFSCME International Executive Board (IEB) and the Public Service Advisory Board. These materials cover a variety of subjects such as national health insurance, federal budget, hospital cost control, energy, welfare reform, state and local tax reform, and mental health. Lastly, this series includes correspondence and transcripts concerning speeches/testimonies that were given by AFSCME national and state directors to the national press and to Congress. Speakers were Paul Booth, Anthony Carnevale, Curtis Johnson, Robert Kalman, Edward Keller, Charles Loveless, Robert McGarragh, Nancy Perlman, Steven Pruitt, and Jerry Wurf. They address such topics as hospital cost controls, insurance issues, pension plans, mental health care issues, and budgetary considerations.
Part 2 of the AFSCME Public Policy Analysis Department Records spans the period from 1963-1978, with the bulk of the material created between 1973 and 1978. As a department within the union’s national structure, these records represent the union’s efforts to address public policy on the federal, state and municipal levels. Unlike Part I, this segment of the collection has no particular geographic focus. Records include memoranda, reports, governmental policy documents, correspondence,meeting minutes, articles, surveys, legislation, and notes. Part 2 is considered Series 7.

Important Subjects: Aid to Families with Dependent Children Programs Career Development Children—Hospitals Collective Bargaining—Health Facilities—United States Deinstitutionalization Health Care Reform Hospitals--Employees Mental Health Services— Legislation Privatization Public Employees

Important Names: Carter, Jimmy, 1924- Hein, John Perlman, Nancy Tarr-Whelan, Linda Woodcock, Leonard Wurf, Jerome
Part 3 of the AFSCME Public Policy Analysis Department Records contains correspondence, memos, reports, data, news articles, studies, speeches, and testimonies. Large portions of the records pertain to mental health and deinstitutionalization. Other topics covered include taxes, Reagan-era budget cuts and other economic issues. The bulk of Part 3 dates from 1978-1981.
Series 8: Administrative Records, 1978-1982 (Boxes 15-19) Includes correspondence and chronological files, personnel records, meeting records, reports, and material from other AFSCME departments.

Series 9: Subject Files, 1973-1984 (Boxes 19-46) Subject files largely pertain to the topics of health, mental health, and deinstitutionalization, which the department followed on national and state levels. Those files are generally separated by year. Other topics include taxes and economic policy, hospitals, and health care employees. Files from Box 40, folder 9 through Box 41, folder 3 (40-9 through 41-3) contain records kept by staff members Nancy Bard and Judy Kahn. Files from box 41, folder 10 through box 41, folder 20 (41-10 through 41-20) contain records kept by staff member Brian Rasmussen. Files from box 41, folder 23 through box 42, folder 17 (41-23 through 42-17) contain records kept by Nancy Bard.

Dates

  • 1963 - 1984
  • Majority of material found within 1973 - 1981

Creator

Language of Materials

Material entirely in English.

Access

Collection is open for research.

Use

Refer to the Walter P. Reuther Library Rules for Use of Archival Materials. Refer to the Walter P. Reuther Library Rules for Use of Archival Materials. Restrictions: Researchers may encounter records of a sensitive nature – personnel files, case records and those involving investigations, legal and other private matters. Privacy laws and restrictions imposed by the Library prohibit the use of names and other personal information which might identify an individual, except with written permission from the Director and/or the donor.

Extent

44.75 Linear Feet (44 SB, 2 MB)

Abstract

Part 1 of the AFSCME Public Policy Analysis Department Records focuses on Deinstitutionalization, particularly at Wayne County General Hospital (WCGH). The hospital complex was located in western Wayne County, Michigan, approximately 16 miles west of downtown Detroit. Deinstitutionalization represented a major change in philosophy for mental health treatment delivery and was the term given to the process whereby mentally ill patients were moved out of large public hospitals and into smaller community-based treatment facilities. Typically, large public (state) hospitals were then closed. The process began in 1955 with the introduction of new psychiatric medications by the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) into state hospitals. These new medicines offered the possibility of less-restrictive care for the mentally ill outside of the inpatient hospital setting. The deinstitutionalization trend accelerated after the passage of the Community Mental Health Centers Act in 1963 and then continued throughout the 1970’s and 1980’s.

Part 2 of the AFSCME Public Policy Analysis Department Records consists of material related to AFSCME’s national effort to affect public policy in federal, state, and local governments during the 1970s. The department conducted research on issues with the potential to impact AFSCME members, especially matters of Social Security, cost of living, pensions, healthcare, deinstitutionalization, public health care, and unemployment. From this research, the Public Policy Analysis Department created reports and studies meant to influence the policy created by government agencies. The bulk of Part 2 of this collection represents AFSCME’s work in the debate on deinstitutionalization and health care reform efforts between 1973 and 1978.

Part 3 of the AFSCME Public Policy Analysis Department Records contains correspondence, memos, reports, data, news articles, studies, speeches, and testimonies. Large portions of the records pertain to mental health and deinstitutionalization. Other topics covered include taxes, Reagan-era budget cuts, and other economic issues.

History

The AFSCME Department of Public Policy Analysis was active in the 1970’s in reviewing, analyzing, and influencing public policy and legislation that could directly or indirectly affect the livelihoods of AFSCME members. The Department looked at areas such as state and national legislation, state and national economic conditions, mental health care worker issues, and deinstitutionalization. This resulted in correspondence with AFSCME members, state and national governmental agencies, and health organizations along with the issuance of reports, studies, resolutions, and statements concerning various subjects of importance to the AFSCME membership.

The main subject of this collection is deinstitutionalization. Deinstitutionalization represented a major change in philosophy for mental health treatment delivery and was the term given to the process where mentally ill patients were moved out of large public hospitals and into smaller community-based treatment facilities. Typically, the large public (state) hospitals were then closed. The process began in 1955 with the introduction of new psychiatric medications by the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) into state hospitals. These new medicines offered the possibility of less-restrictive care for the mentally ill outside of the inpatient hospital setting. The deinstitutionalization trend accelerated after the passage of the Community Mental Health Centers Act in 1963 and then continued throughout the 1970’s and 1980’s. According to a 1995 PBS FRONTLINE report entitled, The New Asylums, “approximately 92 percent of the people who would have been living in public psychiatric hospitals in 1955 were not living there in 1994.”

In the late 1970’s, AFSCME represented over 1 million workers in various civil service jobs throughout the United States. Of that number, over 250,000 members were employed in mental health care facilities that were operated by state and local governments as well as by private agencies. The deinstitutionalization trend was of concern to AFSCME since it came to affect members’ job security and working conditions as well as patient care. Although AFSCME was originally a supporter of deinstitutionalization, it became a leading critic of the policy when it was becoming apparent that patient needs were not being met. This is described in the independent study, Out of Their Beds and Into the Streets, which was commissioned by AFSCME and published in 1976.

This collection documents the history of one institution in particular: Wayne County General Hospital (WCGH). The hospital complex was located north of Michigan Avenue and east of Merriman Road in western Wayne County, Michigan, approximately 16 miles west of downtown Detroit. The first County house was built at this site in 1846 to provide lodging for the homeless and poor. The complex was often referred to as “Eloise” which was the name of the post office that was established at the growing facility in 1894. According to Detroit’s Hospitals, Healers, and Helpers by Patricia Ibbotson, the “complex stood on 902 acres of land, complete with about 70 buildings” and “Eloise was unique because Wayne County was the only one of Michigan’s 83 counties that operated a psychiatric hospital, a general hospital, and an infirmary division all at the same place” (2004, pp. 85-86).

Although the WCGH was a large and long-established institution, it was not immune to the same negative financial pressures that were affecting other public hospitals throughout the country by the early 1970’s. A task force was formed by the Wayne County Board of Commissioners in June, 1972, in order to study hospital finance sources, governance, services, community needs, and relationships with nearby medical schools. Due to a growing financial crisis at WCGH, a second task force was formed by the Wayne County Board of Commissioners in early 1977. The products of these two task forces are included in this collection.

Arrangement

Part 1: Arranged in six series – Series 1 (Boxes 1-2), Series 2 (Boxes 2-3), Series 3(Box 3), Series 4 (Boxes 3-4) Series 5 (Boxes 4-5) and Series 6 (Box 5).

Series I: The first three file folders contain general information concerning deinstitutionalization. Thereafter, file folders are arranged first alphabetically by state name and then secondarily by subject and year. Series II: File folders are arranged first alphabetically by subject and then secondarily by year. Series III: File folders are arranged alphabetically by organization name. Series IV: File folders are arranged first by subject and then secondarily by year. Series V: The first seven file folders contain general information concerning the national economy and the federal budget. Thereafter, the file folders are arranged alphabetically by subject. Series VI: File folders are arranged first alphabetically by subject and then secondarily by year.
Part 2 is arranged in one series: Series 7 (Boxes 6-14). Folders are listed by their location within each box. They are not necessarily arranged beyond their original order, so any given subject may be dispersed throughout the entire collection.
Part 3 is arranged in two series: Series 8 (Boxes 15-19), and Series 9 (Boxes 19-46). Folders in each series are simply listed by their location within each box. They are not arranged beyond thier original order, so any given subject may be dispersed throughout several boxes within each series.

Acquisition

The AFSCME Public Policy Analysis Department Records were placed with the Walter P. Reuther Library in multiple shipments from 1976 to October 1985. The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Records designated the Reuther Library its official archival repository in 1974.

Related Materials

AFSCME Office of the President: Jerry Wurf Records contains material related to AFSCME’s political and policy work during the 1970s, as well as memoranda and correspondence between President Wurf and various locals.

Researchers may also wish to consult the Program Development Department Records, which addressed many issues of public policy before the department was disbanded and its duties reassigned to the Public Policy Analysis Department in the mid 1970s as well as the AFSCME Career Development Department Records.

Processing History

Part 1: Processed and finding aid written by Eric Dalton in September 2007.
Part 2: Processed and finding aid updated by Meghan Courtney.
Part 3: Processed and finding aid updated by Stefanie Caloia on September 27, 2016.

Creator

Title
Guide to the AFSCME Public Policy Analysis Department Records
Status
completed
Author
Processed by Eric Dalton.
Date
2007-09
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
English

Revision Statements

  • 2015-03-30: Finding aid for part 2 written by Meghan Courtney.
  • 2016-09-27: Finding aid for part 3 written by Stefanie Caloia

Repository Details

Part of the Walter P. Reuther Library Repository

Contact:
5401 Cass Avenue
Detroit MI 48202 USA