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Last Patient Leaves Dorothea Dix Hospital In Raleigh

It's the end of an era. The last mental health patient has been transferred from Dorothea Dix hospital in Raleigh to the newer Central Regional in Butner. The closure has been in the works for more than a decade. Lucky Welsh oversees the network of state psychiatric hospitals for the Department of Health and Human Services:

Lucky Welsh: It's a history that Dorothea Dix came to this state and convinced the legislature that we needed to do better care for the mentally ill and therefore allocated funds to build this hospital and another one later. So this comes to and end. It's an historic day for North Carolina that Dorothea Dix Hospital is closing.

Dorothea Dix first opens its doors back in 1856 as the North Carolina Insane Asylum. It's unclear what's next for the Dix property in downtown Raleigh. There's been some talk of making it into a recreational space with proceeds going to care for victims of mental illness.

Fed up with the frigid winters of her native state, Catherine was lured to North Carolina in 2006. She grew up in Wisconsin where she spent much of her time making music and telling stories. Prior to joining WUNC, Catherine hosted All Things Considered and classical music at Wisconsin Public Radio. She got her start hosting late-nights and producing current events talk shows for the station's Ideas Network. She later became a fill-in talk show host and recorded books for WPR's popular daily program, Chapter A Day.
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