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Your Letter: CBHH Wadena has economic, social impact

On July 19, 2006, the Community Behavioral Health Hospital -- Wadena officially began operating as a specialty psychiatric hospital. The first person was admitted three years ago today, (July 27, 2006). Since that date, our hospital has served nearly 600 people with mental illnesses whose condition then required hospitalization.

The Community Behavioral Health Hospital -- Wadena is one of 10 16-bed specialty psychiatric hospitals operated by the State Operated Services Division of the Minnesota Department of Human Services. These 10 hospitals, serving adults with mental illnesses, are a product of the transformation of adult mental health services, intended to replace adult programs within the state hospitals. The first hospital was opened in March 2006 in Alexandria and the 10th hospital was opened in Willmar in early 2008. In addition to the 10 hospitals, the transformation of adult mental health services also included the development or expansion of community based services throughout Minnesota.

Each of the 10 hospitals has approximately 40 employees, including psychiatrists, advanced practice, registered and licensed practical nurses, social workers, occupational therapists, human service technicians, administrative assistants and others. Total salaries and benefits expenses for each hospital are approximately $2.5 million, representing a positive economic impact on the communities in which they are located. More important is that they help to improve the overall health status of Minnesota citizens by helping adults with mental illnesses reach for their recovery goals.

The Community Behavioral Health Hospital -- Wadena is proud to serve citizens of our city, county and surrounding area.

Richard Slieter


Community Behavioral Health Hospital -- Wadena