LANSING, Mich. — Sens. Michael Webber and Sylvia Santana recently met with families served by the state’s only state-run psychiatric hospital for minors. Concerns over care and lack of weekend visitation opportunities at Walter P. Reuther Psychiatric Hospital were just a few of the concerns discussed for young patients being temporarily housed during the Hawthorn Center’s reconstruction.
The legislators reached out to the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services on their behalf after learning of new weekend visitation concerns. Walter P. Reuther Psychiatric Hospital will now work with families to accommodate requests to visit children.
“Children are our most precious resource and in the care of the state, we must all work together to ensure our children receive the care they need and deserve,” said Santana, D-Detroit, who serves as chair of the Senate’s DHHS Appropriations Subcommittee and majority vice chair of the Senate Committee on Health Policy. “I look forward to continuing to work with Sen. Webber and anyone that places the mental health of Michigan children first.”
In July, Webber made a formal request along with other legislators to the Office of the Auditor General to investigate the Hawthorn Center after hearing patient and family testimonies shared during a Protect MI Kids listening session that was hosted in Rochester Hills. Michigan Auditor General Doug Ringler has said the request will be considered for the office’s 2024 audit cycle.
“I am grateful to Sen. Santana for joining me in reaching out to the families of current and former Hawthorn Center patients to listen to their experiences and hear their serious concerns,” said Webber, R-Rochester Hills, who serves as minority vice chair of the Senate Committee on Health Policy. “I am glad we could restore weekend visitation opportunities at Walter P. Reuther Psychiatric Hospital for family members. I will continue to advocate for state accountability on behalf of individuals and families who have suffered in the center’s care.”