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January 08, 2013

Governor Shumlin, Lawmakers and Others Celebrate Ground Breaking on New State Mental Hospital

Gov. Shumlin was joined by mental health advocates, Administration officials, lawmakers and others today for a ground breaking to launch construction of a new state psychiatric hospital in Berlin to provide up to 25 secure beds. The facility is part of a robust system created after the aging Vermont State Hospital in Waterbury was destroyed in Tropical Storm Irene.

“This is a huge victory for Vermont taxpayers because starting 10 years ago we lost $10 million a year in federal funding because of the decrepit condition of the Vermont State Hospital,” Gov. Shumlin said. The new facility will enable the state to become eligible for that assistance, adding that because of that funding, “The state portion of this investment will be paid for in less than two years.”

In addition, nearly $30 million of the $42.8 million price tag of the mental health requirements left in the wake of the August 2011 storm will be eligible for financial assistance from a combination of insurance or federal assistance. The Governor noted that the Waterbury hospital had long been slated for replacement, all on the state’s dime. News from FEMA that the federal government and insurance will cover the bulk of the costs was welcome news.

“Today is a true celebration as we begin construction on this state-of-the-art hospital to provide the quality care and services our mental health community needs and deserves,” Gov. Shumlin said. “This facility is a crucial piece of the statewide mental health system that guarantee great care for people closer to their homes and workplaces.”

FEMA has submitted grant paperwork supporting payment through a combination of insurance and federal funding to cover the following construction-related costs linked to the mental health system:

Berlin hospital Total cost: $28.5 million Insurance/FEMA: $17.5 million

Brattleboro Retreat $ 5.5 million $ 4.3 million

Rutland hospital $ 5.4 million $ 4.4 million

Morrisville center $ 1.9 million $ 2.3 million

Middlesex facility $ 1.5 million $ 1.5 million

Total: $42.8 million $30.0 million*

*FEMA funding before mandatory reductions for insurance and 90:10 cost share

These facilities (which include upgrades to the Brattleboro Retreat and Rutland Regional Medical Center, as well as temporary facilities in Morrisville and Middlesex) are part of a broader network of services that include programs in local communities.

The Berlin hospital has not been named, and an inclusive process that includes stakeholders and the Legislature will be launched to choose a permanent name.

Source: Office of the Governor
Last Updated at: January 08, 2013 15:55:29
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