When Tropical Storm Irene flooded the Vermont State Hospital in Waterbury, it forced lawmakers to make key decisions about the state’s mental health system.
The state’s new system will rely on two private hospitals to care for psychiatric patients – in addition to a state facility. One of the two private hospitals is the Brattleboro Retreat, which treats patients with psychiatric disorders and addiction issues.
But this winter, as lawmakers were reviewing the role the Retreat would have in the new system, the hospital was dealing with the death of a patient. And while the Shumlin Administration was pushing for the Brattleboro Retreat to get a state contract, another arm of government was investigating the hospital over the patient’s death. And information about that investigation was withheld from legislators.
VPR’s Mitch Wertlieb speaks with Anne Galloway, publisher of VTDigger’s who reported on the patient’s death this winter, how the hospital handled it, and why some lawmakers feel misled.