Ribbon cutting held for new Bryce Hospital - ABC 33/40 - Birmingham News, Weather, Sports

Ribbon cutting held for new Bryce Hospital

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TUSCALOOSA - AL -      Before cutting a purple ribbon to celebrate the new Bryce Hospital in Tuscaloosa, Governor Robert Bentley walked room to room touring the $80 million dollar facility.  It's huge, 260,000 square feet.  "Every idea that needs to be put in  has been put into this building," said Bentley as he paused for a moment.  "Number one this is a hospital....patients who have mental illness, they have special needs. I think every room has been designed that way. Every ward has been designed that way."

     Bentley says the new Bryce represents a fresh start to a different way of addressing mental illness in Alabama.  It has 268 beds, recreation areas, secured, high-tech.  There are even special amenities for hearing impaired patients.  Lights flash to let the person know someone has entered the room.  Similar lights blink during emergencies.  Bentley says the facility is designed to help transition patients into group home settings.   "Community based programs so that people can be closer to home. Some can not and those that can not will be brought here. So, this will be both acute and chronic. But, as many that can be transitioned will be transitioned," he said.
     
    The State Mental Health Commissioner says Bryce will now serve as the main hub among two other state run mental health facilities in Alabama.  "That's what Bryce is here for. It will convert to a statewide function to serve those people who just can't be taken care of in the community."

    Patients will be transferred from the old Bryce to the new facility by June 24th, which is the official opening day.
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