West Virginia journalist fired after investigating alleged abuse, ‘patient dumping’ at state facilities

A West Virginia journalist was fired last month after exposing alleged abuse of disabled people in the state’s health agency.

Amelia Ferrell Knisely said she had been warned to stop reporting on allegations that the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources was hiding information on the treatment of disabled persons in state care in the weeks before she was let go from her part-time job at West Virginia Public Broadcasting.

“I was let go from my job at WVPB last week following threats from DHHR about my reporting on DHHR’s treatment of people with disabilities,” she wrote on Twitter Dec. 28.

Last month, Knisely published that an advocacy group was accusing the state of failing to properly institutionalize disabled persons. The state, the group alleged, was “‘patient dumping’ or ‘warehousing patients’ by allowing them to remain unnecessarily institutionalized,” she wrote.

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