Allina criticized during public hearing for relocation of adolescent mental health unit
Minnesota’s Department of Health held a public hearing Thursday evening for feedback on the relocation of Allina Health’s adolescent mental health unit.
Community members and healthcare providers criticized Allina for the move.
Earlier this year, 5 INVESTIGATES got a copy of an internal memo from Allina officials, telling staff that children and mental health services would be transferring from United Hospital in St. Paul to Abbott Northwestern Hospital in Minneapolis.
“It’s an extreme stress to ask a parent and their families to drive across the cities to receive inpatient care,” said Ann from Inver Grove Heights at the virtual meeting Thursday.
The healthcare agency didn’t tell state regulators – or the families who rely on the services. Many people have come forward, saying this service has been important to their families, and having it change will shake things up.
According to state law, a public hearing must be held before closing or relocating certain hospital services. Without Thursday’s public hearing, the state could have fined Allina $1,000.
During a previous interview with 5 INVESTIGATES, Allina officials admitted to the violation.
“It was our error, they told us that we did not interpret that regulation correctly,” said Dr. Mary Beth Lardizabal, Allina’s Vice President of Mental Health and Addiction Services.
Allina claims there will be no reduction in overall mental health services.