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Piper highlights new funding to improve safety at Minnesota Security Hospital

More than $90 million approved for renovations and increased staffing

6/14/2017 11:11:51 AM

Contact:
Media inquiries only
Christopher Sprung
Communications
651-431-4892
Christopher.Sprung@state.mn.us

Human Services Commissioner Emily Piper visited St. Peter today to highlight significant investments to complete a major renovation of the Minnesota Security Hospital and hire nearly 150 new employees over the next three years. The changes will improve care and safety for patients and staff at the facility.

“Addressing safety issues for patients and staff at Minnesota Security Hospital is one of my top priorities,” Piper said. “Given legislators’ attempts to make deep cuts to human services this past session, I’m grateful for Governor Dayton’s leadership to secure funding that will allow us to finish the construction project on this campus and provide the resources to staff the facility at a responsible level and to provide better care for Minnesotans.”

In 2017, Gov. Mark Dayton and legislators approved $70.255 million to renovate Minnesota Security Hospital and create safer working conditions for employees. The construction will replace outdated living units with poor sightlines and narrow stairways that made it difficult and dangerous for staff to monitor patient activity. New living units will be safer and more therapeutic. The plan also calls for more transitional housing, overall building improvements and physical separation of vulnerable patients from the Minnesota Sex Offender Program population on the St. Peter campus. The facility expects to break ground on the project this fall.

“Even before construction gets underway, we’ll be working hard to fill important medical and nursing positions,” said Piper. “That means identifying the key clinical and direct care positions that we need to fill most immediately and ramping up our recruiting and hiring efforts to ensure we can offer Minnesotans that need our help the best care possible.”

An additional $22.85 million was passed in the 2017 session to increase safety by adding 146 employees. The new personnel will put Minnesota Security Hospital staffing levels closer to those at similar treatment facilities in other states. More staff will also mean reductions in overtime and increased programming for patients on evenings and weekends. 

In efforts to fill the first group of 52 full-time equivalent employees in a wide range of jobs, including psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers, therapists, dental staff, safety and security staff, and general maintenance workers, DHS will hold a Minnesota Security Hospital Career Fair in the next few months. Time, date and location will be announced. 

Minnesota Security Hospital is a secure psychiatric treatment facility that serves patients who have been committed by the court as mentally ill and dangerous. The facility recently completed the first phase of construction of new treatment units and programming space with funds approved by the 2014 Legislature. 

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