Vision of a hospital

July 4, 2009 

N.C. State University students showed imagination sketching futuristic designs for the Dorothea Dix Hospital property ("Students offer vision for Dix," June 29). While developers, NCSU and park advocates voice their opinions about this valuable real estate, their collective visions never mention our mentally ill when framing their wants and desires.

My friend Gerry Akland of NAMI-Wake County's Crisis Intervention Team gives his vision for Dix:

"No one wants to be reminded that the land was set aside for the mentally ill. The vision of Dorothea Dix ... was for a hospital and treatment for the mentally ill instead of jail. I suggest the NCSU graphic design project for this fall be to design new mental health treatment facilities on the existing campus. The students could work with the College of Humanities and Social Sciences to integrate design with human compassion."

Influential folks statewide feel a world-class park would bring instant revenue, prestige and tourism. Granted. Trying to replace Dix and Umstead Hospitals with a smaller Central Regional Hospital was political, narrow-minded and irresponsible. Many upstanding people believe this land is too good for our less fortunate. What do you say?

Steve Church

Willow Spring

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