Crownsville hospital appears headed for closure in July

March 19, 2004|BY A SUN STAFF WRITER

The House Appropriations Committee overwhelmingly voted down a last-ditch effort yesterday to keep open the state's psychiatric hospital in Crownsville.

The bill would have required further study of closing Crownsville Hospital Center and delayed its closure -- likely until at least June 1, 2006.

The bill by Del. David G. Boschert, a Crownsville Republican, also has been referred to the Health and Government Operations Committee, but its fate likely is sealed, said Del. John R. Leopold, an Anne Arundel County Republican who is a co-sponsor of the bill.

The Appropriations Committee rejected it 24-2.

State Health Secretary Nelson J. Sabatini has said he would close the hospital as early as July 1, unless the General Assembly votes against it.

The nearly century-old facility is one of three large state-run psychiatric hospitals -- the others are Spring Grove Hospital Center in Catonsville and Springfield Hospital Center in Sykesville -- and the state is looking to consolidate into two. Crownsville's 200 patients will be transferred to other facilities.

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