Public invited to comment on proposed psychiatric hospitalby Art Hughes, Minnesota Public Radio
St. Paul, Minn. — The state health department will hear from the public today about a proposed psychiatric hospital in Woodbury, Minn.
Proponents of the for-profit, 80 bed treatment facility say it will ease a shortage of mental health services. If approved, the Prairie Saint Johns facility will be only the third for-profit hospital in Minnesota. State Health Economics Program Director Julie Sonier said the health department will make a recommendation to the legislature about the need for the new hospital.
"The public meeting is part of a process that we do when we're reviewing proposals by a hospital to either add beds to an existing hospital or build a new hospital. One of the factors we consider is the views of the public and so that's why we're having this meeting to gather input," said Sonier.
The city of Woodbury supports the proposal, because it furthers the city's efforts to build a medical campus district. But officials with Hennepin County Medical Center, which also offers crisis mental health services, said the Prairie Saint Johns proposal caters to a narrow patient profile and does little to relieve pressure on emergency mental health providers.