Morristown Discusses Plan To Move Vermont State Hospital

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(Host) Members of Morristown’s Select Board will meet Wednesday afternoon to discuss the state’s proposal to have the town host some patients from the Vermont State Hospital.

After the facility was closed by flooding from Tropical Storm Irene, Governor Peter Shumlin proposed decentralizing the Waterbury hospital, and creating satellite campuses across the state.

Under Shumlin’s plan, the state would replace the 54-bed hospital with a smaller, secure facility.

Shumlin also wants to move some patients to community-based treatment centers like the Lamoille Community Connection in Morristown.

Dave Yacovone is on the town’s Select Board. He says there’s a lot of misinformation swirling around Morristown about the state’s proposal.

(Yacovone) "But this will be an opportunity at the hearing tonight for people to hear from the Department of Mental Health exactly the facts of the proposal, which are always helpful, always good to have the facts."

Yacovone says Morristown’s Select Board has not taken an official stand on the state’s proposal, and that resident reactions seem to be mixed.

(Yacovone) "There’s some people who are very supportive, who appreciate that there’s no way that anybody could have planned for Tropical Storm Irene, the disaster that caused and the dislocation to the Waterbury state hospital, and neighbor helping neighbor should step forward. On the other hand there are people in the immediate community who I think need to hear the facts because I think there’s just a lot of uncertainty."

The state is proposing that Morristown host an eight-bed psychiatric hospital located inside the Lamoille Community Connection.

You can read select board minutes from Morristown and many other cities and towns at VPR’s Public Post.

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