A listening session to hear concerns about the proposed closing of Northwest Georgia Regional Hospital is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. Wednesday at the Senior Center, 406 Riverside Parkway, Rome Mayor Evie McNiece announced.

The state has announced plans to close the mental hospital on June 30, affecting 184 patients and 764 employees.

Tom Wilson, spokesman for the state Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities, said the closure is part of a 5-year plan to move developmentally disabled and mentally ill patients to private settings and community-based services. The agreement lays aside a DOJ lawsuit under the Americans with Disabilities Act.

The hospital has served mentally ill and developmentally disabled patients in the 16-county region for the past 27 years.

Ground was broken in April 1971 for the Redmond Road complex that replaced the 1940s-era military buildings of Battey State Hospital.

The state also owns six other mental health hospitals: Georgia Regional Hospital at Atlanta; Georgia Regional Hospital at Savannah; Central State Hospital, Milledgeville; Southwestern State Hospital, Thomasville; West Central Georgia Regional Hospital, Columbus; and East Central Regional Hospital, Augusta.

Read more: RN-T.com – City schedules listening session for Wednesday to discuss plans to close Northwest Georgia Regional Hospital