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Norton Selectmen in Support of Keeping Taunton State Hospital Open

Board to sign letter of support per request of State Senator Marc Pacheco.

Norton Selectmen voted to approve State Senator Marc R. Pacheco’s request to sign a letter in support of keeping the Taunton State Hospital open Thursday night.

The state Department of Mental Health has put forth a plan to close the facility, which opened in 1854, due to budget reductions. Most of the staff and patients will be moved to the Worcester facility by Dec. 31. Others will be moved to Tewksbury.

“We have a lot of people now that basically are homeless and a lof of that has been caused by all these cutbacks on these facilities,” said selectman Robert Kimball. “The point of the matter is, we really need this. And whether it be in Worcester or Taunton, I believe that the City of Taunton and the surrounding southeastern Massachusetts should have the ability to have this type of facility available to them.”

Kimball also cited concerns over people in the area losing their jobs. From the center of Norton, the drive to Worcester State Hospital is about one hour.

“I totally agree with his [Pacheco’s] proposal, and I think we should send a unified strong message to the state that we want a facility in the area,” he said.

Selectmen chairman Bradford Bramwell agreed, saying “ “It always seems that the people in need are the ones forgotten.”

Lorna Ulmer February 18, 2012 at 12:09 PM
Cheers, to the Norton Selectmen and State Senator Marc R. Parcheco. The move is cruel to the patients and devastating to the staff. Cruel in these ways: parellel move for patients can't put a positive spin on it like a move to a group home, many families of patients won't have the gas money/time for a hundred mile round trip, little advance notice to patients that the move was slated to occur. Staff- A lot of "bumping" will be going on with TSH staff trying to get jobs at WSH. I could go on and on but I won't. I thought this was a "done deal" but support Pacheco's proposal.
Karen Coughlin February 24, 2012 at 05:01 PM
Thank you to the Norton Selectmen!..This is not a done deal by any means, and the on-going support from the Southeast area communities is crucial. My only negative is that the photo used does not reflect the actual Taunton State Hospital..we have benefited from millions of dollars in upgrades over the last several years including a new power plant, a recreational facility, cafeteria, lobby for visitors, etc..this building no longer even exists at Taunton State and only serves to perpetuate the falsehood that we are antiquated!
Kelly A. Mello (Editor) February 24, 2012 at 05:15 PM
Hello Karen, the photo used came from a royalty free site. If you have one that better represents the hospital, please feel free to upload it to this story and I will delete the other one.
Lorna Ulmer February 25, 2012 at 12:38 AM
Karen it's nice to hear that the possibilty of TSH staying open exists. Perhaps, I and others at the SERLC were given incorrect information. Many peers outside of TSH are also upset and empathize with the residents. Please let me know if there's anything we can do i.e. advocacy etc.

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