News

Minnesota Security Hospital Putting $93M Toward Renovations, Hiring

The facility, which treats patients deemed by the court as mentally ill and dangerous, is able to fund its recent efforts thanks to legislative support.

The Minnesota Security Hospital is receiving a more than $93 million cash infusion from the state legislature, which will go toward a major renovation and expansion effort, as well as the hiring of 146 new employees.
 
Emily Piper, commissioner of the state’s Department of Human Services, visited the St. Peter-based psychiatric treatment facility on Wednesday to announce the planned improvements.
 
“Addressing safety issues for patients and staff at Minnesota Security Hospital is one of my top priorities,” Piper said. “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.”
 
Construction on the first phase—adding new treatment units and programming space—wrapped recently and was paid for by funds approved in the 2014 legislative session. With money from the 2017 session, the hospital is set to replace many of its living units, narrow stairways and transitional housing spaces and make general improvements throughout the hospital.
 
Work on the expansion and renovations are to start this fall.
 
“Even before construction gets underway, we’ll be working hard to fill important medical and nursing positions,” Piper added.
 
According to the Human Services department, staffing at Minnesota Security Hospital is lower than in similar treatment facilities in other states.
 
“That means [we’ll be] identifying the key clinical and direct care positions that we need to fill most immediately and ramping up our recruiting and hiring efforts,” Piper said.
 
About $23 million of the recent state investment will go toward hiring psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers, therapists, dental staff, safety and security staff, and general maintenance workers. The department intends to hire on 52 new full-time staff members right away and another 94 employees by 2020.
 
To find the new workers, the Human Services department will hold a career fair sometime in the next few months. A time, date and location for the event are still to be determined.