Fulton State Hospital

The Critical Need to Rebuild

  1. Fulton State Hospital now (FSH) serves: 300 maximum and intermediate security severely mentally ill patients with violence histories in the Biggs Maximum Security Center and in one of the two FSH Guhleman Center buildings; 75 patients in a Sexual Offender Treatment Services program (SORTS) in the other Guhleman building; and 25 severe DD/MI patients with severe behavioral disorders at the Hearnes Center Complex.
  2. Poor working conditions are causing DMH increasing difficulty in attracting/holding key clinical staff and direct care workers. Patient wards are dark, cramped and exceedingly noisy due to concrete walls and floors with inadequate space for treatment and vocational training. These cumulative factors create a dangerous environment for patients and staff.
  3. While FSH has kept patient injuries low, staff injuries at FSH are high, with Workers Compensation claims the highest of any facility in the state ($4 million). FSH Overtime is also very high ($3.7 million) because of poor facility layouts and increasingly difficult patients requiring individualized staff coverage. DMH estimates that about half these costs are building-related based on its past experience in rebuilding other state hospitals.
  4. DMH now draws $50 million per year in Indigent Care (DSH) federal reimbursements for FSH. Doing so is conditioned on continuing to meet CMS certification standards, increasingly difficult in current facilities.
  5. FSH served 471 psychiatric patients in FY 2010. Since then, DMH reduced the maximum and intermediate security psychiatric patient census to 300 by moving less dangerous patients to other state psych hospitals. All DMH state hospitals are now operating at full capacity. Without moving those patients, new FSH bed construction costs would have totaled $340 million instead of the $211 million now projected by OA-FMDC.
  6. Reducing the FSH patient census also emptied one of the two Guhleman Center buildings to accommodate the growth of the SORTS program. Without this, the state would have been required to build a new $70 million SORTS facility by 2012, based on OA-FMDC SORTS expansion construction estimates.
  7. At current SORTS patient growth rates, DMH will again run out of SORTS space by the end of FY 2016. Even if construction of a new FSH psychiatric center is completed by FY 2019 and another 100 Guhleman Center beds are freed for SORTS use, DMH will still need to find temporary space for new SORTS patients until then.
  8. The current inefficient and rapidly deteriorating FSH campus utilities grids also serve a DOC inmate substance abuse program and the School for the Deaf. The campus has experienced major power grid failure, a collapse of an underground sewer system, or a major water line malfunction five times in 2013.
  9. The state has deferred $73 million in maintenance for FSH during the last 10 years, hesitating to spend money on a deteriorated infrastructure and facilities that that would continue to be too expensive to maintain.
  10. The Governor’s recommendation calls for rebuilding FSH through an appropriations-backed bond.

Support for the Rebuilding of Fulton State Hospital:

Governor Nixon:

Fulton City Council:

Kingdom of Callaway Chamber of Commerce:

Mental Health America - St. Louis