Some long-term care patients who have lived at the Lakeshore Mental Health Institute in Knoxville will remain on the property when the state shuts down the hospital at the end of June.
State lawmakers voted to close the hospital in Spring 2012 when they passed Governor Bill Haslam's 2013 budget. The move will save the state millions of dollars, but it also meant dozens of patients have had to be relocated away from the Lyon's View Pike facility. Many have moved to the Moccasin Bend Mental Health Institute in Chattanooga or to private care facilities.
On June 25th, the remaining 12 patients will be moved on to one floor of the Chota building, the large multi-story building that's housed the hospital for the past several decades.
Those patients will receive intensive long-term support, as part of an agreement the state has made with the Helen Ross McNabb Center. By December 2012, the Helen Ross McNabb Center plans to move them into the Willow Cottage, also on the property. The state said they've had a hard time placing these patients in other programs or facilities because of their needs. Now, they get to stay in a familiar place.
"We've been able to provide a lower level of care in their same home. These are individuals who have been at Lakeshore for many years, and it is their home. And, the staff there, who are working with them, many who have worked there for many years as well, are their family," said Vice President of Adult Services Leann Human-Hilliard.
The Helen Ross McNabb program has room for 20 employees. Human-Hilliard said they've already filled 15 of those positions with Lakeshore employees.
The Willow Cottage needs some renovations and asbestos removal before patients live there. Helen Ross McNabb Center said the new long-term support program at Lakeshore will be open to other new clients if room allows.
The state is leasing the Willow Cottage to Helen Ross McNabb for $1 per year for five years.