Brattleboro Retreat

Dr. Kyle Hagstrom, left, a psychiatrist at the Brattleboro Retreat, talks via computer with Dr. Jarred Zucker, who lives in Brooklyn, N.Y. Zucker is the one of the Retreat's newest telepsychiatrists.
Howard Weiss-Tisman / VPR

Rural communities across the country face a shortage of doctors of all kinds, and Vermont is no different.

But as technology advances, and patients get more comfortable with video conferencing, health care officials say telemedicine might be one way to address the shortage.

hookmedia / VPR

A series of discussions put on by the Arts Council of Windham County will explore the therapeutic properties of art — and the connection between creating and healing.

Howard Weiss-Tisman / VPR

Five years after Tropical Storm Irene flooded out the state hospital in Waterbury, health care providers are still dealing with massive challenges the storm presented to the state's mental health care system.

Howard Weiss-Tisman / VPR

The Brattleboro Retreat has reclaimed a historic cemetery that was a burial place for patients who died while being treated at the psychiatric hospital.

Toby Talbot / AP/file

The Brattleboro Retreat is asking the state to support a renovation of the hospital's adolescent unit.

Submitted photo / Brattleboro Retreat

The Brattleboro Retreat board of trustees has appointed Louis Josephson as the hospital's new president and chief executive officer.

Sheriff Keith Clark underwent therapy at the Brattleboro Retreat for depression and suicidal thoughts. He's going public with the hope that it will help others.
Toby Talbot / AP File

The president and CEO of Brattleboro Retreat is stepping down at the end of the year, hospital officials announced last week. Dr. Rob Simpson is leaving his role after nine years at Brattleboro Retreat, where he’s overseen a growth in staff and patient capacity and the hospital’s focus on mental health and drug treatment services.

“We knew we wanted to meet what we felt was the unmet demand for mental health and addictive services in the region,” Simpson said in an interview.

Susan Keese / VPR

A repeat inspection this week has found the Brattleboro Retreat remains out of compliance with federal Medicare and Medicaid standards.

The psychiatric hospital was threatened with the loss of federal funds because of problems identified in earlier inspections. But it now has another chance to keep its Medicare certification.

A team of state regulators carried out the three day return inspection on behalf of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, or CMS.

Susan Keese / VPR

A team from the Vermont Division of Licensing and Protection is at the Brattleboro Retreat this week conducting an unannounced inspection.

The state inspectors are at the psychiatric hospital on behalf of the federal agency that governs Medicare and Medicaid. The Retreat stands to lose its federal funding if problems cited in two recent inspections haven’t been corrected.

Susan Keese / VPR

The agency that oversees Medicare and Medicaid has approved a plan by the Brattleboro Retreat to correct problems found during a recent inspection. The psychiatric hospital was warned that its Medicare and Medicaid contract would end unless it filed correction plans by the beginning of this week.

The psychiatric hospital's most recent problems surfaced during a special inspection this summer, triggered by a fight in the hospital’s adolescent unit. The incident sent four employees to the hospital.

Susan Keese / VPR

The Brattleboro Retreat has until September 2 to file plans for correcting problems found during a recent inspection. The hospital’s Medicare and Medicaid contracts could be terminated if it fails to comply.

The retreat’s latest problems surfaced in an inspection that was prompted by an altercation on the hospital’s adolescent unit, which sent four employees to the hospital. Regulators say the retreat followed proper protocol in that incident, but they found new problems that were deemed potential threats to

patient safety.

Toby Talbot / AP/file

For the second time in three years, the Brattleboro Retreat faces a potential loss in federal funding because of a failed inspection. Despite the warnings, the state’s commissioner of mental health says he’s still confident that the retreat can provide quality care.

The federal warning comes after a suicide attempt at the Brattleboro Retreat in June which, after retreat staff notified the state, prompted a site visit of the facility.

AP/Toby Talbot

Vermont's largest health insurance provider and the largest private psychiatric hospital are working together and creating what they believe will be a better way to deliver both traditional and mental health care.

Officials from Blue Cross Blue Shield of Vermont and the Brattleboro Retreat say they've created a new business called Vermont Collaborative Care designed that will integrate mental health and substance abuse care with traditional health care.

The Brattleboro Retreat could lose its federal Medicare funding unless it can come up with a plan to correct a series of violations. Those violations were documented during an inspection last month.

Senior Vice President Peter Albert says most of the deficiencies were discovered in the hospital's new 14-bed unit, which accepts Vermont State Hospital patients. At least some of those patients were involuntarily committed.