UK to take over state mental facility in Lexington

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — University of Kentucky HealthCare will operate a longtime state psychiatric facility when its new complex opens this summer.

Gov. Steve Beshear announced Friday that UK and the state Cabinet for Health and Family Services have signed a letter of intent allowing the change.

Eastern State in Lexington has been run since 1995 by Bluegrass Regional Mental Health-Mental Retardation Board Inc. and serves more than 2,000 patients a year from a 50-county central Kentucky region.

The new, $129 million Eastern State complex will replace the current pre-Civil War era hospital that is the nation's second-oldest psychiatric hospital.

A news release from the governor's office says Bluegrass will continue to be involved in Eastern State after the change.

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