Mayview State Hospital, Pennsylvania’s, state mental hospital will close by the end of next year according to state officials. Over 200 patients have been moved to South Fayette Hospital and the rest will likely move to homes in the community with appropriate supervision or other support. Others who need more supervised care will move to Torrance State Hospital in Westmoreland county. Over 500 of the 800 employees at the hospital will be offered jobs at other state-operated facilities or with community programs. This decision confirms the rumors that have been circulating throughout the hospital for months.

Mayview has been downsizing its 335 acre facility in preparation for the closing. When it was first built by the City of Pittsburgh in 1897, it served as a home for the poor until 1941 when the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania took over. In June 1967, the patient population hit an all time high of 3785 with 1200 employees working at the hospital. Now that treatments have changed and hospital stays are less common, the population has since dwindled. Now, there are 354 patients residing in Mayview today. Mayview is not the only hospital that has had its patient size nearly disintegrate. The number of patients at the state’s hospitals is said to have dropped from more than 4,900 to 2,000. About 1,700 of these are no criminal patients scattered throughout eight facilities. Also, 80 criminal patients are kept in forensic units of three state hospitals. Fifty-eight percent of them are at Mayview as of June.

The state’s downsizing of its mental hospitals is part of a court decision trying to get the mentally ill to be treated in community settings. The most recent downsize at Mayview was 60 no criminal patients discharged to nearby communities over the last year. The hospital had been told that the downsizing would not apply to the forensic unit for the criminally insane, but now that program will be discontinued as well. A public hearing on the hospital’s closing will be held at the Crowne Plaza Pittsburgh South in Bethel Park on September 10.

For related articles visit http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/s_522320.html,

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/07227/809634-100.stm?cmpid=MOSTEMAILEDBOX, and http://www.dpw.state.pa.us/Family/MentalHealthServ/StateMentalHospAndRest/003670151.htm.

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