Lakeshore Mental Health Institute officially ceases operations

Lakeshore Mental Health Institute officially ceases operations

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State health officials first proposed closing Lakeshore in November 2011 as part of an overhaul of mental health care in the state. State health officials first proposed closing Lakeshore in November 2011 as part of an overhaul of mental health care in the state.

KNOXVILLE (WATE) - The final chapter of Lakeshore Mental Institute was written Monday when the Knoxville facility officially closed.

The remaining 14 workers employed at the facility lost their jobs effective July 1. They handled transporting patients from Lakeshore to private practices and to Moccasin Bend Mental Health Hospital in Chattanooga.

At one time 350 employees were employed at Lakeshore.

State health officials first proposed closing Lakeshore in November 2011 as part of an overhaul of mental health care in the state.

The closing is part of a shift in mental health care to community-based programs.

The state is relying more on psychiatric in-patient hospital contracts with local, private facilities.

With the closing the City of Knoxville takes over ownership of the grounds at Lakeshore, where there is already a city park adjacent to the state's buildings.

State lawmakers voted last year to turn over ownership of Lakeshore to Knoxville, completing the plan worked out by state health officials.

The majority of Lakeshore patients were transferred from the facility last summer and only a few long-term patients remained.

Those patients were relocated this week to a renovated cottage run by the Helen Ross McNabb Center.

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