The Bridgeport Post from Bridgeport, Connecticut on January 7, 1968 · Page 53
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The Bridgeport Post from Bridgeport, Connecticut · Page 53

Bridgeport, Connecticut
Issue Date:
Sunday, January 7, 1968
Page 53
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BRIDGEPORT SUNDAY POST, JANUARY 7, 1968 C--FIVE Mental ! in Norwich Reorganized, Modernized NEW SUPERINTENDENT--Dr. Morgan G. Martin, above, is the new superintendent of Norwich hospital. Under his direction, the hospital has experienced a massive reorganization to improve patient care. CHAPEL PROVIDED--The Nonrich hospital chapel, above, was constructed recently and is available for use by patients. This Is the second of three articles about the state's major mental hospitals -- Connecticut Valley hospital, Middletown; Norwich hospital, Norwich; and FalrfieU.HUb'hospital, Newtown. Last Sunday's installment deatt with Connecticut Valley hsspltal, today's discusses Norwich hospital and the concluding article next Sunday will concern Falrteld Hills hospital. By CECELIA VAN AUKEN Norwich hospital, located on the east bank of the beautiful Thames river, Connecticut's third largest river, is partly in Norwich but mostly in the adjoining town of Prescott. It opened in 1903, is the second oldest of the state's mental health institutions, and serves Tolland, Windham and New London counties, as well as parts of ooth Middlesex and Hartford counties, including the city of Hartford. Been Reorganized Under the administration of its new superintendent, Dr. Morgan G. Martin, a Canadian-born psychiatrist, it has within the past year undergone a massive reorganization. Like Connecticut Valley hospital, it has been decentralized and patients generally have been relocated. "Changes have been made not for the sake of change but to increase treatability and reduce unnecessary, prolonged hospitalization," Dr. Martin said. "The first step in our reorganization," he continued, "was to move all alcoholic patients and geriatric patients to separate quarters of their own so that we could work out special refinements and centralization of both of these services. Geographic Divisions "Next came the general relocation of other patients geographic basis. Three semiautonomous sub-hospitals were created, each with responsibilities [or one area, and each with a separate admission office." The central unit, which has an admission ward in Lodge building, now treats patients from that portion of Hartford county which the hospital services; the northeast unit, which has its admission ward in Gallup building, serves Tolland and Windham counties; and the Southeast unit, which has its admission ward in Kettle building, serves New London county and that part ol Middlesex county which the hospital serves. "The most important change and a laboratory, which occupies the entire top floor of uY; building, that is used for animal experimentation. The center also has an extensive medical museum which is an important adjunct to the research which goes on in this building named for Connecticut's former governor, who is now a (J. S. Senator. The Ribicotf Research laboratory plays an important role ''n the psychiatric training program for physicians, which as at Connecticut Valley and Fairfield Hills hospital is carried on ?-t Norwich hospital. A number of graduates of this program stay on at the hospital and one such psychiatric physician is Dr. Joseph Ceha, chief ol professional services, a department which was established last summer after Norwich hospital's overall relocation of patients and personnel. Comes from Holland Dr. Ceha comes from Holland and following his graduation frpii Norwich hospital's psychiatric training program, returned to the Netherlands but stayed there onlv long enough to obtain his visa papers and return to a position which awaited him at Norwich hospital. He has been on the hospital's staff since 1960. "The greatest difficulty which confronts us at Norwich hospital is finding trained psychiatrists to fill our posts," Dr. Ceha said sadly. "For some strange reason American psychiatrists, for the which has taken place in this reorganization," Dr. Martin stated, "is that we have affected a near- complete application of the 'open- door' philosophy, which has resulted in the drastic reduction of restraint and seclusion of patients and the despecialization of wards. The practice of grouping patients on the basis of diagnosis, problems and chronicity has been eliminated with the result that so-called 'back wards" have been done away with and community ties facilitated." Used for Administration The oldest edifice at Norwich hospital with its beautiful oak- paneled hallways is the hospital's administration headquarters, in which Dr. Martin's office is located. An adjoining wing is used for housing the criminally insane, who will be moved in 1968 to the Connecticut Valley hospital. During the past year, the security inmate population at Norwich hospital was halved and one of its two floors converted to activity programs. In front of the administration building facing Route 12 at the hospital's main entrance is a chapel of design. striking modernistic Since the first building opened 55 years ago, many additional structures have been added which are modern in architecture and attractive in design. They include numerous fine treating buildings for patients. They are situated principally on a roaj fancifully named Inner loop, while on Perimeter loop, which follows the bank of the Thames river, are various service and maintenance buildings. Sell-Contained Barges coming up the Thames leave oil for heating the hospital's many build.'ngs. The hospital also has its own generating plant for electricity, a tin shop, laundry and 'garage. It b a self-contained unit which is independent in every way from the most part, don't seem to care to take positions at our state mental health institutions, but prefer what are more lucrative posts in private practice and in private institutions." "The result here at Norwich hospital," Dr. Ceha continued, "is that many of our staff psychiatrists come from foreign countries after completing their psychiatric training p r o g r a m here. Our superintendent, Dr. Martin, is an example of this, if you consider our n e i g h b o r north of us, Canada, a foreign country." Wears Several Hats As chief of professional services at Norwich hospital. Dr. Ceha wears several hats. He is chief of the alcoholic unit and of geriatric services, and coordinator of operations of the three recently established semi-autonomous hospitals. He holds tri-weekly conferences with the staffs of each of these hospitals at which patients' cases are discussed, and frequently holds meetings when the three separate staffs come together for the exchange of ideas and to discuss various problems. Other professional training programs at Norwich hospital include a program of psychiatric training for nurses and also a program for the training of psychiatric aides. Introduced in 1966 and being continued this year as a special feature of the program of psychiatric aide training is the program for girls who come from Fitch Senior High school in nearby Groton. Trained as Aides These girls are selected seniors from Fitch Senior high, some of vhom may be drop-outs or other- vise disinterested in pursuing academic subjects. The central object of this program is to prepare these young women to func- :ion effectively as psychiatric aides. The nelpin course them to geared around develop self- awareness and self-understand- use of outside utilities. On the southern end of the grounds is a large athletic field overlooking the river where oa- tients participate in various kinds of sports related to recreational therapy. · A most impressive building on the grounds is the Abraham Ribicoff Research center, a four- story structure at the far southern end of the grounds. "This research center," said Dr. H. B. Molish, its director, "has no counterpart in its facilities anywhere in Connecticut and is one of the most complete laboratories for mental health research in the country." Homes Laboratories ing; an appreciation of the impact of their personality on others; some understanding of human behavior; acceptance of the mentally ill as people and as patients; an understanding of the mental hospital, its philosophy and treatment objectives; and ability to work cooperatively with others. The course is directed and supervised by the director of nurs- ng education, Dorothy Douglas. The teacher of health occupa- :ions education of Fitch Senior ligh school participates in the rogram, spending approximate- y five hours a week at the hos- jital. Selected nursing personnel, isychiatrists, psychologists, so- / MAKING CHRISTMAS DECORATIONS--A Norwich hospital patient makes poinsettia Ghristmas decorations as part of the hospital's "Project Return." The decorations were made for Artistic Wire of Norwich and in the spring patients will make Easter decorations Jor the firm. - - . . There are laboratories for ex- cial workers, occupational thera- perimental histology and psycho- pists, »nd members of other pro- pathology, and a neuropathology fessional disciplines also take laboratory. There is a dark room part in the program, for making perceptual vision Several Employed tests, a morgue where autopsies So successful was this training are made for scientific study, an program in Its first year of oper- HOSPITAL'S FIRST BUILDING--The original building at Norwich hospital was constructed in 1903. The building, above, has been remodeled and now serves as the hospital't administrative building. MODERN FACILITY--The Ronald H. Kettle Treatment center, above, at Norwich hospital houses patients of the hospital's south east unit as part of the institution's decentralization program. electroencephalogram machine for making brain wave test!,' (Continued on Face C-Six) PART OF OCCUPATIONAL T H E R A P Y -- Above are samples of the patients at Norwich hospital for Artistic Wire, a Norwich firm. The work is done under hospital .occupational therapy program called "Project Return."

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