February 26, 2013

PUBLIC FORUM: Proud to be home of state hospital

— I recently read a posting on an Internet social network page about Logansport Mayor Teddy Franklin.

Mr. Franklin was pointing out some of the failures of past administrations to bring meaningful economic development to this community. One of the failures he pointed out was the old myth that Logansport could have had Purdue University instead of the State Hospital. The inference is clear that somehow Logansport got the short end of the stick when the Indiana General Assembly choose to accept Dr. Rogers’ recommendation of building a new hospital for the mentally ill on the bluffs overlooking the Wabash River southwest of Logansport. As an ex-employee of LSH, and as a citizen of Logansport, I find this comment to be, in the least, beneath the chief executive of any municipality much less ours and at the most despicable. In the 1880s, when Indiana found it needed to build two more hospitals to care for a growing number of citizens afflicted with mental illness, it appointed the Superintendent of Central State Hospital to locate appropriate building sites. The citizens of Logansport actively lobbied Dr. Rogers to ensure that the newest and most modern of mental health facilities would be constructed in their community, land was donated and local businesses provided equipment, material and supplies to ensure its construction.

This year, LSH will recognize its 125th anniversary, 125 years of providing care, treatment and comfort for literally hundreds of thousands of Indiana’s most vulnerable citizens. That’s 125 years of providing professional career opportunities for thousands of Cass County residents. That’s 125 years of economic opportunities.

I ask that my fellow “Longcliff” employees, both past and present, along with the citizens of Logansport and Cass County call on Mayor Franklin to issue a public apology for his callous and uncalled for inference.

‘Nuff said.

Michael K. Berkshire