LARNED — Larned State Hospital held a ribbon-cutting ceremony in the LSH Auditorium Friday morning to celebrate the grand opening of its Osawatomie State Hospital Mental Health Technician satellite class at the Larned Site.
Representatives from the City of Larned and the Larned Area Chamber of Commerce were among those invited to attend the ceremony, along with many long-serving retirees from the hospital who spent time looking through albums of photos and newspaper clippings featuring numerous graduating classes from years past.
Osawatomie State Hospital designed the program, and has been authorized to provide instruction at satellite locations around the state for the next five years. In 2019, LSH approved an on-campus OSH satellite program to begin in 2020. The first class of the new OSH program at LSH will commence Monday, Jan. 27.
“LSH is proud of this achievement and looks forward to the promotional strategy and retention opportunity this provides,” said LSH Superintendent Lesia Dipman.
Known as Psychiatric Aide I and Psychiatric Aide II until the early 1970s, an MHT is a direct patient care classification. The first MHT class started at LSH in 1972. LSH currently has four long-term licensed mental health technicians: Becky Bradley, Vanessa Reed, Wanda Stanford and Beckie Obermiller.
In the early 2000’s, the class was discontinued. At the time, it was hoped that Licensed Practical Nurses would fill these positions, Dipman explained as she addressed attendees to the ribbon cutting Friday morning.
LSH currently has an increased need for licensed staff who can administer medication. After an MHT program established by Barton Community College in 2015 saw low attendance and was discontinued in 2016, the hospital evaluated how to re-establish its former MHT program. This partnership was developed in collaboration with OSH toward that goal.
Leonard Herrman, LSH Director of Human Resources, was at the ribbon cutting. He is enthusiastic about the new program, and hopes it will spur people in the community and beyond to take a look at the many career positions offered at LSH.