Gov. Bill Haslam: No plans 'right now' to shut down Chattanooga's Moccasin Bend hospital

Gov. Bill Haslam: No plans 'right now' to shut down Chattanooga's Moccasin Bend hospital

November 14th, 2011 by Andy Sher in Local - Breaking News

NASHVILLE - Gov. Bill Haslam said today the state has no immediate plans to shut down Moccasin Bend Mental Health Institute in Chattanooga as part of the state's new "patient care transformation" initiative.

"There's nothing anticipated at all at this point in time," Haslam said. "I can't say that 10 years from now that won't happen. We have no plans right now regarding Moccasin Bend."

On Friday, Mental Health Commissioner Doug Varney announced proposed changes in the state's Mental Health Department, including the June 30 closure of the 160-bed Lakeshore Mental Health Institute in Knoxville.

He said shutting down the Lakeshore and relying on private contractors is part of a decades-old trend of relying more on community-based providers in an era where improved medications make it possible to stabilize the mentally ill more easily.

For complete details, see tomorrow's Times Free Press.