Burlington Free Press, June 29, 2011
Gov. Peter Shumlin is considering going in a new direction than his predecessor regarding the future of the Vermont State Hospital. Under the Gov. Jim Douglas administration, planning to replace the state hospital had focused on developing acute care capacity at private hospitals, but state officials and executives at various hospitals -- including Fletcher Allen Health Care in Burlington -- never figured out how those partnerships would work. After Shumlin took office in January, he pulled the plug on the planned construction of a 15-bed secure residential unit that would have addressed the needs of a small number of state hospital patients. He directed Mental Health Commissioner Christine Oliver instead to focus on solving the bigger problem -- replacing the intensive care function of the state hospital.