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Vt. grants itself a permit for new psych hospital

Associated Press Published: November 19, 2012

A call to Mary Moulton, the acting mental health commissioner, wasn't immediately returned.

The head of an advocacy group called Monday's announcement "great news." Floyd Nease, executive director of the Vermont Association for Mental Health, said the Berlin facility would be "the anchor for the new system that we're building. Rather than months and months worrying about achieving a (certificate of need), they've managed to do it in very short order."

Rep. Anne Donahue of Northfield, the top Republican on the House Human Services Committee who closely follows mental health issues, also called the announcement good news. The new hospital will have "excellent outdoor space," as well as state-of-the-art treatment areas, a vast improvement over the Waterbury hospital.

The Waterbury hospital was first opened in the 1890s and was widely viewed as antiquated and in need of replacement. The new hospital will be "no comparison to Waterbury," Donahue said.