Middleboro: McLean Hospital to open in town; resident expresses concern

A psychiatric hospital and drug treatment center will open within a mile of each other and neighbors are concerned.

This month McLean Hospital received approval to open a 50-bed facility at the former Greenery Rehab Center at the end of Forest Street.

Additionally, High Point President Daniel Mumbauer announced the vacant hospital on Oak Street will open by the end of 2014.

Neighbor Wendy Dries is squeezed in the middle and is asking to be notified when patients escape. She fears dangerous criminals will be treated at McLean and worries for the safety of her family.

Dr. Philip Levendusky said the Zoning Board of Appeals restricted McLean from treating sex offenders and dangerous felons. He said the majority of patients will be referrals from local hospitals for a variety of psychiatric needs, including depression and anxiety.

As far as alerts, Levendusky and Mumbauer said police decide when to send out the calls after they are notified of escapees.

Middleboro Police Chief Bruce D. Gates is not opposed to sending out the calls, but said privacy laws could prevent alerting the public of an escapee.  Levendusky guarantees McLean will be considered a very good neighbor once the facility opens and looks forward to the move out of Brockton.

McLean is affiliated with Harvard Medical School, and has been named top psychiatry hospital in the country by U.S. News & World Report.

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About Alice Elwell

Alice Elwell is a freelance reporter who lives on the South Shore. She joined the WATD team to widen our coverage to include Middleboro. She can be reached at acelwell2@gmail.com.