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Friday, October 9, 2009 - 11:02am

MCG Taking Over State Mental Health Facility

The East Central Georgia Regional Hospital is one of seven mental health facilities in the state that has been plagued by reports of improper care.

The Medical College of Georgia will take over administration of that facility under an agreement with the newly formed Georgia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities.

The agreement will bring in new psychiatrists, psychologists and nurses. It will also allow the hospital’s current employees to keep their jobs.

Dr. Peter Buckley is the chairman of the Department of Psychiatry at MCG and will be in charge of East Central Georgia Regional.

"When you get this partnership the two are much stronger than the individual and the person most going to benefit from this are the people of Georgia and Augusta and the patients at that public facility," says Dr. Buckley.

That partnership comes after a 2007 investigation by the Justice Department into incidents of patient neglect and abuse in Georgia’s mental hospitals.