State officials broke ground recently on a new state mental health facility in Salem, Ore., the Oregonian reports.
“This is a day we’ve been awaiting for many years,” says Bruce Goldberg, director of human services.
Gov. Ted Kulongoski was on hand to speak during the Oregon State Hospital groundbreaking. He noted Oregon needs to build more than a new hospital building — it needs to improve its mental healthcare system, including improved early care that might help keep people out of hospitals. He added the state is obligated to see that every person in Oregon has access to the care they need.The new facility is slated to be built by 2011.
The 125-year-old Oregon State Hospital is one of the oldest on the West Coast. Construction of the new, 620-bed facility will be completed in 2011 and a second, 36-bed state hospital is scheduled to open in Junction City in 2013.