State Hospital Site Options Topic of Public Hearings

For Immediate Release: June 27, 2006
Contact: Communication Office
802-863-7281

BURLINGTON – Two public meetings to discuss conceptual plans about the proposed siting of an acute-care psychiatric unit on Fletcher Allen’s Medical Center Campus in Burlington will be held on Thursday, July 13, at Mater Christi School, and Thursday, July 20, at Frederick H. Tuttle Middle School.

The proposed facility would replace part of the acute inpatient program now provided at the Vermont State Hospital (VSH) in Waterbury.

The meeting at Mater Christi School, 50 Mansfield Avenue, Burlington, will be held in the gym where Ward 1 voting takes place. The second public hearing at Frederick H. Tuttle Middle School, 500 Dorset Street in South Burlington, will be held in the cafeteria. Both meetings will begin at 7 p.m.

“We are still in the conceptual phase of the project and we understand the importance of fully engaging the public early in the process to discuss possible impacts to the Fletcher Allen campus and the neighboring community,” said Beth Tanzman, director of the Vermont State Hospital Futures Project.

The Vermont Department of Health (VDH) and Fletcher Allen will also create a community task force to participate in a discussion about where on the Medical Center Campus to site the proposed facility. Anyone interested in contributing to the site option review process can sign up for the task force at the public hearings or call VDH at 802-652-2000.

A Certificate of Need (CON) Letter of Intent was submitted by the Agency of Human Services to the Department of Banking, Insurance, Securities and Health Care Administration (BISHCA) on June 19. The letter outlined a plan to create a new inpatient facility within the Medical Center Campus in Burlington. At least one third of the 200 admissions annually to VSH come from Chittenden County.

Inpatient psychiatric facilities at Rutland Regional Medical Center and the Brattleboro Retreat would also be renovated to accommodate patients currently served by the VSH.

The State of Vermont hopes to close VSH following the possible completion of a new inpatient facility in 2012. The project would move patients with mental illness closer to the high quality patient care provided by Vermont’s academic medical center. Advantages include direct access to medical resources such as imaging and health care information technology, minimal disruption of treatment continuity and closer proximity to specialists.

The project would be fully funded by the State of Vermont.

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