Allentown State Hospital Public Meeting

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Posted: March 24,2010
By: Stephanie Esposito
Source: 69News


ALLENTOWN, Pa. -- Allentown officials and residents expressed their frustration with the state's decision to close the Allentown State Hospital.

The state says it's about the bottom line, but some city council members are worried the state hospital closure will affect much more.

City council members expressed frustration that they had no say in the state's decision to close the Allentown State hospital. But Wednesday night I talked to a state hospital patient who says there's more to this closure than politics and money.

"My names Amy I'm a patient in Allentown State," said Amy Sharbaugh.

Sharbaugh said the state's plan to close Allentown State Hospital this December is unfair.

The state department of public welfare says it boils down to $33 million dollars it spent to keep the doors open this year.

Joan Ernie the Deputy Secretary for the Dept of public welfare says the counties and cities which were served by the hospital will still get funding for mental health services But some on Allentown city council aren't convinced it will be enough.

Allentown residents expressed frustration with the state for not consulting with their local elected representatives first.

The state says it'll make sure the 400 employees of Allentown state hospital are either transferred to other state hospitals or state positions. As for the 158 patients...they'll be discharged in groups and dispersed to other area hospitals or group homes until the facility closes in December.