On the same day that the Act of Sale for the purchase of Southeast Louisiana State Hospital and surrounding acreage to St. Tammany Parish Government, was officially recorded by the Clerk of Court, Pat Brister, St. Tammany Parish President, Kathy Kleibert, Secretary of the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals (DHH), and representatives from State Government, Northlake Behavioral Health and Pelican Park gathered for a ceremonial signing to mark the occasion.
“Behavioral health care should not be seen as a luxury for any community — it should be available when people need it,” Pat Brister, St. Tammany Parish President said. “This purchase is one step toward ensuring that we have an open avenue of care here in St. Tammany, and we have worked very hard to keep this avenue open.”
The $15,480,000 purchase encompasses 293.86 acres which includes the Southeast Louisiana Hospital site. A portion of the acreage will be used for the Parish’s mitigation bank, and part of the land will be used for the Mandeville bypass road, a joint endeavor with St. Tammany Parish Government, the City of Mandeville and Pelican Park, announced in July of 2014.
“Taking ownership of this land will also give us some say in the development and use of the remaining acreage,” Brister said. “One of our main goals on this front is to assist Pelican Park with a long-term plan for the expansion of their park.”
In 2012, the State of Louisiana announced the closure of Southeast Hospital, and Parish Government as well as the St. Tammany State legislative delegation began work to make sure the facility remained open. In December of 2012, St. Tammany Parish Government (STPG) executed a cooperative endeavor Agreement (CEA) with DHH for STPG’s operation of the hospital site for mental health services. Parish Government then concurrently executed a CEA with Northlake Behavioral Health (formerly Meridian Behavioral Health) for Northlake’s mental health treatment services at the hospital site. In 2013 Senator Jack Donahue and Senator A.G. Crowe authored final legislation for the sale of Southeast Hospital to St. Tammany Parish Government.
“The acquisition of this property and the surrounding land is a win for the entirety of St. Tammany Parish. I am certain that it signifies a lasting and positive future for behavioral health care services here in our community,” Brister noted. “I want to thank all parties involved for their efforts — the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals, Northlake Behavioral Health and all of our legislators who recognized the significance of this effort and joined with us into make it happen.”