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Forums To Be Held To Gather Input on New Eastern State

FRANKFORT, Ky. (July 15, 2008) – Governor Steve Beshear today announced a series of forums will be held throughout July to gather input from mental health advocates, local government and judicial officers, and the public on the creation of a new Eastern State Hospital. The forums will be hosted by the Kentucky Department for Mental Health, Developmental Disabilities and Addiction Services in the Cabinet for Health and Family Services (CHFS).

The purpose of the forums is to gather both verbal and written comments regarding services for the new facility to be located at the University of Kentucky’s Coldstream Research Park, pending approving from the state Finance and Administration Cabinet. The new facility will replace the current 180-year-old structure in downtown Lexington as part of an agreement among UK, the Kentucky Community and Technical College System and CHFS. The 2008 General Assembly approved the agreement.

“As we prepare to construct a new facility, we are entering into a new era for Eastern State Hospital,” said Gov. Beshear. “Not only will we have a new physical structure and location, but also the delivery of services will change. We are truly modernizing mental health services in Kentucky.”

“Gathering input from the public is essential as we move forward with this much-needed new facility,” said CHFS Secretary Janie Miller. “We hope those interested in making suggestions for services to be offered at the new Eastern State Hospital will take this opportunity to be a part of this collaborative process.”

All individuals and groups who intend to make comments at the forums are encouraged to bring a copy of their comments to the meetings to distribute to staff.

Individuals planning to attend one of the forums who would like to comment should contact Tracy Bentley or Lisa Rice, Department for Mental Health, Developmental Disabilities and Addiction Services, by phone at (502) 564-4456, or by e-mail at tracy.bentley@ky.gov or lisa.rice@ky.gov. Pre-registered speakers will be given priority to speak at the forums. Special accommodations, such as interpreter services, can be made for those who contact the department prior to the forums.

Dates, places and times for all scheduled forums are listed below:

Florence

1 to 4 p.m., Tuesday, July 22

Northern Kentucky Area Development District

22 Spiral Drive

Morehead

1 to 4 p.m., Wednesday, July 23

Morehead Convention Center

Collins Hall East

111 E. First St.

Lexington

1 to 4 p.m., Monday, July 28

Kentucky Horse Park

Club Lounge

4089 Iron Works Parkway

Somerset

1 to 4 p.m., Tuesday, July 29

Somerset Community College

Citizens National Bank Community Room #107

808 Monticello St.

The forums will be open to the public, and sign-up sheets will be available at the meeting for those who wish to speak. Comments may be limited to five minutes per individual or organization so the department can gather as much information as possible.

Those unable to attend the public forums are encouraged to email suggestions/comments to Tracy Bentley at tracy.bentley@ky.gov or write to:

Commissioner’s Office

Department for Mental Health, Developmental Disabilities and Addiction Services

100 Fair Oaks Lane, 4E-B

Frankfort, KY 40601


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