The Lakeland Speciality Hospital in Berrien Center is going to close within the next three months. The decision was made Tuesday by the Lakeland HealthCare Board of Directors. President and CEO Dr. Loren Hamel says in a statement that even though the facility has served thousands of people for over a century, the hospital "no longer respresents the healing environment that Lakeland is committed to providing." He cited the costs involved with repairing or replacing the building as being too high, and noted the remote location is not "as convenient to the families of most residents as other area options." The are currently 70 residents at Lakeland Continuing Care and fewer than 15 patients in Long-Term Acute Care at Berrien, and Lakeland is working to transition them to new homes. Lakeland Specialty Hospital, Berrien Center began as a farm for persons without means around 1832. It became part of the Lakeland system in 1994. The facility will close on June 1.
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