Staff Directory 10645926

Chris Serres

Reporter | Social Services
phone: 612-673-4308
Chris Serres covers social services for the Star Tribune. He writes about issues affecting society's most vulnerable populations, including the poor, elderly, mentally ill and people with cognitive and physical disabilities. He is married and has two children, Dominic, 12, and Emmanuelle, 10. He has been a newspaper reporter for 20 years.
Recent content from Chris Serres
150 ER visits in a year? New MN program flags high-use patients

150 ER visits in a year? New MN program flags high-use patients

The program has quietly become a powerful tool to control waste in the multibillion-dollar Medical Assistance program while improving patient care -- and saving taxpayers at least $7 million a year in unnecessary medical costs.
At Standing Rock in N.D., a camp of defiance and prayer

At Standing Rock in N.D., a camp of defiance and prayer

The Lakota see the protest as a "last stand" for their way of life and the environment. Protesters are digging in for a long, cold winter, even as federal and local officials prepare to evict them.

Key Minnesota wait list for disability services gets cleared with help

Medicaid waiver backlog for social services is cut from 1,420 to zero.
Disability rights settlement could open door to regular jobs

Disability rights settlement could open door to regular jobs

In a case that could open doors for thousands of Minnesotans with disabilities, a large disability services provider has settled a state human rights charge and agreed to give its workers a shot at regular jobs.
Citing burnout, top medical director of Minnesota's state-operated hospitals resigns

Citing burnout, top medical director of Minnesota's state-operated hospitals resigns

Psychiatrist says he's been working 80-hour weeks at Anoka-Metro.

$59M in overtime at Minn. agency includes $294K for one worker

Overtime expenditures at the department have surged nearly 20 percent in the past three years and now far exceed those at other large state agencies, according to a report by the Office of the Legislative Auditor.
Disability rights directive could put a bull's-eye on Minnesota

Disability rights directive could put a bull's-eye on Minnesota

The sheltered workshops that Minnesota relies on likely violate the ADA.
Review: 'Another Day in the Death of America,' by Gary Younge

Review: 'Another Day in the Death of America,' by Gary Younge

NONFICTION: A sobering exploration of the lives of 10 young people killed by guns on the same day.
Suicide at state mental hospital in Anoka prompts an internal state review

Suicide at state mental hospital in Anoka prompts an internal state review

Anoka-Metro treatment center had already been under heightened federal scrutiny for the past year.
State mental health system resembles a bad 'traffic jam,' task force says

State mental health system resembles a bad 'traffic jam,' task force says

Task force calls for more reviews of Minnesota's private insurers.
Twin Cities father to undergo cutting-edge brain surgery at U

Twin Cities father to undergo cutting-edge brain surgery at U

A Twin Cities father will undergo a cutting-edge brain surgery at the U that has the potential to transform his life

Hundreds of Minn. rape victims seek hospital care each year, study finds

About four Minnesotans a day seek care for sexual assaults.

Backlash stops 3 convicted rapists from being moved to group home in Dayton

New setback in state efforts to modify the controversial MSOP.

Hennepin County Medical Center creates new space for psychiatric patients and families

Confronting mental illness, 'You need a road map.'
Surge of clients strains jobs program for disabled Minnesotans

Surge of clients strains jobs program for disabled Minnesotans

New clients, new rules push vocational rehab program to its limits, meaning more than 1,000 people are put on waiting lists.
St. Cloud center cited for neglect in 'persistent head banging'

St. Cloud center cited for neglect in 'persistent head banging'

Staff at the treatment center refused to intervene, though teens wound up with concussions and abrasions. It was ordered to pay a $1,000 fine.
Ex-Viking Stu Voigt sentenced to six months for fraud scheme

Ex-Viking Stu Voigt sentenced to six months for fraud scheme

Former Minnesota Vikings tight end Stu Voigt was sentenced Thursday in federal court to six months in prison and ordered to pay a $100,000 fine for his role in a multimillion-dollar fraud scheme.
Dayton rolls out new hiring plans for those with disabilities in Minn.

Dayton rolls out new hiring plans for those with disabilities in Minn.

Gov. Mark Dayton announced new hiring initiatives this morning designed to improve the low rate of employment of Minnesotans with disabilities in state government.
St. Peter state psychiatric hospital, once secretive, hosts an open house

St. Peter state psychiatric hospital, once secretive, hosts an open house

'We are a treatment environment, not a prison,' director says.
On Iron Range, employer makes bold gamble on inclusion for people with disabilities

On Iron Range, employer makes bold gamble on inclusion for people with disabilities

One Iron Range firm makes strides toward inclusivity for people with disabilities.
Human Services Department inspector general set to retire after rooting out fraud, recovering millions

Human Services Department inspector general set to retire after rooting out fraud, recovering millions

'What can be more fulfilling than assuring that children and vulnerable adults are safe?' says Jerry Kerber.

State revokes licenses of two St. Paul youth group homes

Cites assaults, abuse and repeat police calls.
Obituary: Gayle L. Swann, leader of railroad workers and 1979 candidate for Minneapolis mayor

Obituary: Gayle L. Swann, leader of railroad workers and 1979 candidate for Minneapolis mayor

Gayle L. Swann, a railroad worker and feminist crusader who sought office as a member of the Socialist Workers Party, died on Sept. 24 of…
Minn. home care workers demand action on staff shortages, wages

Minn. home care workers demand action on staff shortages, wages

Two years after a contentious battle to form a union, they are starting contract negotiations.
New rule restores Minnesotans' right to sue nursing homes, attorney general says

New rule restores Minnesotans' right to sue nursing homes, attorney general says

A federal rule bans mandatory arbitration clauses in contracts.
Minn. Security Hospital fined $20,000 for safety violations

Minn. Security Hospital fined $20,000 for safety violations

The Minnesota Security Hospital, the state’s largest psychiatric facility, has agreed to pay one of the biggest fines ever assessed against a state agency for…

Mental illness in Hennepin jail far higher than previous estimates, new study finds

Inmates with mental health problems are also more likely to commit subsequent offenses.
State clears way for first unconditional Sex Offender Program release

State clears way for first unconditional Sex Offender Program release

The 26-year-old has been confined solely for acts he did as young as age 10.
Hennepin County steps up plans to address mental illness in jail

Hennepin County steps up plans to address mental illness in jail

Hennepin tries shift from incarceration to treatment.

15-year-old missing 2 months after leaving Blaine treatment center

Teen left Blaine residential treatment center with a stranger who wasn't ID'd. State has cited a staffer and ordered the facility to take measures.
Hennepin County aims to keep nonviolent out of costly jail cells

Hennepin County aims to keep nonviolent out of costly jail cells

For the first time, people accused of low-level crimes are being issued special warrants and then released.

26-year-old cleared for release from state sex offender treatment program

Man, 26, who abused as a child, is set to get program's first unconditional discharge.

Psychiatric patients with nowhere to go languish in Minnesota hospitals

Review finds patients stuck in hospitals as others wait.
'Known and Strange Things' offers bold, thoughtful essays on art, life and race

'Known and Strange Things' offers bold, thoughtful essays on art, life and race

NONFICTION: A Nigerian-American novelist reveals the deep roots of his artistic passions in a book of essays.
Hundreds of Minnesota teens confined, abused for no crime

Hundreds of Minnesota teens confined, abused for no crime

Troubled children not charged with a crime — whose only offenses might be running away from home or hitting a classmate — account for one-fifth of the population in Minnesota's county juvenile correctional facilities. Between 2009 and 2015, the amount of time that so-called "non-delinquent" children spent in such facilities rose 28 percent, largely because child protection workers and judges have nowhere else to send them.
Lawsuit accuses state of segregating disabled in group homes

Lawsuit accuses state of segregating disabled in group homes

Group home system limits options, the class action suit says.
Two years later, Ice Bucket Challenge yields hope for Minnesotans with ALS

Two years later, Ice Bucket Challenge yields hope for Minnesotans with ALS

People who had waited a year or more for gear to help them live more independently can now get a key piece of equipment delivered within days.
Moms emerge as force for change at Minn. state mental hospital

Moms emerge as force for change at Minn. state mental hospital

Parents want more access, more focus on treatment at state security hospital.
State addiction facility cited for neglect in star basketball player's suicide

State addiction facility cited for neglect in star basketball player's suicide

Staff at the St. Peter treatment center failed to take necessary precautions.
Minnesota man with disability wins round in fight for job promotion

Minnesota man with disability wins round in fight for job promotion

A St. Paul man who won a first-of-its-kind lawsuit, said he "just wanted a shot at an interview" for a supervisor position at the Bloomington packaging plant.
Minnesota names new chief for mental health facilities

Minnesota names new chief for mental health facilities

Marshall Smith, a longtime hospital executive, will take one of the toughest jobs in state government.
St. Paul clinic helped mothers with nowhere to turn

St. Paul clinic helped mothers with nowhere to turn

After a steep decline in one of the main groups it serves — the uninsured — Seton clinic will close after a century of aid.

Man who raped girls is latest cleared for release as MSOP changes course

Judges say Dwight Walton, convicted in 1980s, has shown progress in treatment.
Minnesota's invisible caregivers are a growing army of children

Minnesota's invisible caregivers are a growing army of children

Each day, thousands of Minnesota children, some as young as 8 or 9, serve as unpaid caregivers for family members who are too sick or frail to care for themselves.
Her dad hobbled, her stepmother working, teen becomes a surrogate mom

Her dad hobbled, her stepmother working, teen becomes a surrogate mom

It was minutes before the high school graduation ceremony, and Tom Terwey limped slowly into the Minneapolis Convention Center, leaning on a cane as sweat…
Facing backlogs, Minnesota hospitals develop housing for psychiatric patients

Facing backlogs, Minnesota hospitals develop housing for psychiatric patients

Frustrated by chronic bottlenecks in the state mental health system, three of Minnesota's largest hospitals are taking matters into their own hands.Mayo Clinic and Hennepin…
Minnesota hospitals develop housing for psych patients

Minnesota hospitals develop housing for psych patients

Frustrated by backlogs, hospitals are developing short-term housing for adults with psychiatric illnesses who may be ready for discharge from the hospital, but need more therapy before going home.

State mental health gets $48M, defying national trend

Legislators stepped up with $48M in new money, yet left out Security Hospital.
Obituary: DeGalynn Wade Sanders, lawyer for low-income families

Obituary: DeGalynn Wade Sanders, lawyer for low-income families

As a young beauty pageant contestant, DeGalynn Wade Sanders polished an original dance and spoken-word routine that she called, simply, “The Dream Factor.” The future…

Caregiver accused of sexually abusing girl was on hiring exclusion list

The operator of a child treatment center failed to notice that the 25-year-old was barred from working there.
Minn. first to require training on fetal alcohol disorders for foster parents

Minn. first to require training on fetal alcohol disorders for foster parents

The law culminates years of grass-roots lobbying by disability advocates, and requires all newly licensed foster parents to receive an hour of training on parenting strategies for children with FASD.
New home care rule intensifies Minnesota's caregiver shortage

New home care rule intensifies Minnesota's caregiver shortage

Gov. Dayton is seeking $58 million to help cover costs and alleviate the worker shortage.

Death of patient at Hopkins nursing home linked to medication error

It's the latest in a spate of safety violations at Golden Living facilities.
Sex offender is sent back to jail because he can't afford treatment

Sex offender is sent back to jail because he can't afford treatment

Jonathan Earl Brown, by most accounts, was trying to get his life back on track when he was released from a Ramsey County workhouse early…
How investigators are using data to battle Minn. surge in suicides

How investigators are using data to battle Minn. surge in suicides

Effort follows sharp increase in Minnesota deaths.

Anoka Treatment Center reaches deal to keep federal funding, improve care

Federal regulators had threatened cuts due to lapses in care.
Minnesota advocates, lawmakers spar over use of hidden cameras in nursing homes

Minnesota advocates, lawmakers spar over use of hidden cameras in nursing homes

Proposal says families can install surveillance without fear of reprisal.

State opposes release of serial rapist who triggered a political furor

Thomas Duvall was nearly freed in 2014 amid a political furor.
Surge in psych patients turns state's ERs into 'holding pens'

Surge in psych patients turns state's ERs into 'holding pens'

The crowding has become so acute in some smaller, rural hospitals that patients are forced to wait on stretchers in public hallways, often for hours.

Ex-patient with gas can, lighter triggers lockdown at Anoka psychiatric hospital

Police took him to a local hospital; no one was injured.
Appeals court hears challenge to constitutionality of Minnesota Sex Offender Program

Appeals court hears challenge to constitutionality of Minnesota Sex Offender Program

Minnesota alleges bias by U.S. district court judge, seeks reversal of his ruling.

Duluth detox center cited for abuse after patient confined naked in room

Female patient was left naked, visible on cameras, investigators found.

Minneapolis daycare charged with overbilling state $103,500

Investigators found hundreds of instances when children didn't show up

Morphine error leads to patient's death; northwest Minnesota nursing home faulted

Nurses gave the resident, who had a severe cognitive disability, 10 times his prescribed dose.
Dayton seeks $177M investment in state psychiatric facilities

Dayton seeks $177M investment in state psychiatric facilities

Gov. Dayton seeks to target 'decades of neglect' at state-run psychiatric facilities.
Ex-Rochester basketball star found dead at treatment center

Ex-Rochester basketball star found dead at treatment center

Ater Manyang hanged himself Friday at a state addiction-treatment center, the fourth suicide at a state treatment facility since early 2015.

New Hope nursing home cited for brutal assault caught on video

Some St. Therese of New Hope employees were fired, two charged criminally.
Commissioner to unveil strategy for improving care at Minnesota's Anoka-Metro mental hospital

Commissioner to unveil strategy for improving care at Minnesota's Anoka-Metro mental hospital

Anoka-Metro center has a long history of bottlenecks and safety problems.

State challenges proposed release of rapist from MSOP

State, county officials argue Christopher Coker is too dangerous to free.
'Granny cams' gain popularity for catching elder abuse

'Granny cams' gain popularity for catching elder abuse

Two years after catching an aide ridiculing their mother, two sisters have become zealous proponents of using miniature cameras to catch abuse in senior homes.

Dangerous use of restraints plummets at Minn. homes for people with disabilities

Minnesota has turned the corner in a prolonged battle against the use of dangerous restraints and isolation rooms at facilities for people with developmental disabilities.
Legislative auditor urges overhaul of mental health services for jail inmates

Legislative auditor urges overhaul of mental health services for jail inmates

Some people are being jailed illegally, report found.
Shortage of caregivers hits home as families scramble to find help

Shortage of caregivers hits home as families scramble to find help

For one mother, a hospital bed was the only choice.
Review: 'Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City,' by Matthew Desmond

Review: 'Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City,' by Matthew Desmond

NONFICTION: Author follows eight Milwaukee families that lost homes and argues that the lack of affordable housing helps create poverty.

Hidden camera catches beating of elderly patient at Hopkins senior home

Secret video leads to abuse charges against an aide at a Hopkins nursing home.
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