Running Head: REZONING SUNLAND HOSPITAL
The Ghosts of Sunland have a New Home
The Sunland Hospital, originally addressed on Phillips Rd, was constructed in 1952 as a Tuberculosis hospital. In 1968 it became the hospital in Florida to care for physically and mentally retarded patients and this lasted for some time until its closure in 1983. Sunland hospital treated adults and children that had these physical and mental disabilities throughout the state of Florida.
The hospital and the community during this time did not have the knowledge and resources, as today, to handle hundreds of individuals with not only mental retardation but also having been handicapped.
The hospital was overwhelmed by so many patients being admitted to its facility. “On average about 50-60 people lived in huge open wards; most stayed in their beds all day as there was not enough staff to transfer everyone to wheelchairs” (Butler, Tallahassee Democrat, 2006). There were several hospital locations for Sunland throughout Florida, with multiple floors and treating many hundreds of patients. In the late 1970’s there were attempts to reorganize the infrastructure of the hospital, from scheduling staff to increasing the attention of care provided to all of the patients. However, when the legislature decided to cut funding to Sunland, the fall of the facility began. Furthermore, nursing and physician staffing positions had to be cut, leaving the hospital with only 30 nurses to care for hundreds of handicapped and severely mentally retarded adult and children patients. “A lot of the excuses given for lack of compliance in the care for patients is due to lack of money (1973).
Conditions within Sunland hospital were becoming steadily degrading along with the care of the patients. The tremendous order was said to have come from patients not able to move out of their beds or wheelchairs and laid or sat in their feces’.
There was an outrage about how the...