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State to Close Lakeshore Mental Health Institute

From the News Sentinel:
Tennessee Department of Mental Health Commissioner Doug Varney has announced that closure of Lakeshore Mental Health Institute on June 30, 2012, is part of plans for changing mental health in Tennessee.
Varney said community services will be expanded by leveraging three existing contracts with private psychiatric mental-health providers in East Tennessee: Covenant Health (Peninsula, a division of Parkwest Medical Center); Mountain States Health Alliance (Woodridge Hospital of Johnson City), and Ridgeview Community Mental Health Services of Oak Ridge.
“Moving these mental health services into the community where our patients live allows them to start the process of recovery near family, friends and local community mental health support services,” Varney said in a statement. “Our intent is to promote care that is of the highest quality and delivered in the most efficient and effective way. We believe this new model accomplishes those goals.”
Varney said the changes are part of a national trend to close state facilities, owning to improved medications, shifts in public policy and studies that show community-based services have better outcomes. He said Peninsula, Woodridge and Ridgeview “have been serving this population effectively, efficiently and successfully through the current contracting process and are committed to begin accepting new admissions.”

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