Pine Bluffs Post - Serving all of Eastern Laramie County since 1908

Letter to the Editor: Wyoming resident concerned for WLRC


My aunt has profound disabilities and is medically fragile. She lived at home and received services from the local community programs until she was 33 years old, at which time she moved to the Wyoming Life Resource Center.

Our family is in a unique position as we have experienced the Medicaid Waiver program, community programs, and residency at the WLRC. Wyomingites with developmental disabilities have wide ranging needs. One size does not fit all. Funding for the Wyoming

Life Resource Center’s operations and renovations AND community programs AND waiver expansion IS needed. For far too long, the Wyoming State Department of Health has been starved for funding. This has resulted in robbing Peter to pay Paul, so to speak.

The WLRC, Medicaid Waiver Program, and community programs all vie for funding from an already strained budget and have become adversarial in doing so. Ideally, these programs would all work together to ensure that Wyoming citizens with developmental disabilities or acquired brain injuries receive the care and services they require to live their lives to the fullest.

As the Wyoming Department of Health’s study determined, the Wyoming Life Resource Center is a safety net for our most disabled citizens and should not be closed.

Closing the WLRC would not magically redistribute funding. The very needy people now receiving care in the cost effective WLRC will still need care if scattered around Wyoming. Their care would be compromised and money wouldn’t be saved.

Parents or guardians are the decision makers for their child/adult child with developmental disabilities or acquired brain injuries and are the persons best suited to determine their child’s needs; and whether or not those needs are being met in their community.

I would not presume to know what those needs are or whether or not those needs are being met. I certainly would not call for the closure of their child’s home.

I, however, would call for the State of Wyoming to fully fund its Health Department and ensure that all Wyomingites with developmental disabilities and acquired brain injuries received the care and services they need.

I would strongly encourage the legislature to expand the Medicaid Waiver program to ensure those on the waiting list receive the resources they need to care for their child at home or in a community setting.


Shawn Humberson Lingle, WY Family Member/Guardian Friends of WLRC VOR State Co-Coordinator


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