Palmetto State Hospital
|Palmetto State Hospital|
|Building Style||Cottage Plan|
In 1910, after years of legislative debate, South Carolina finally approved funding to purchase land for an annex to house African American patients. Development of the State Park site moved slowly and was plagued with building and funding problems. The first African American patients were moved to the State Park division in 1914. The monthly superintendent’s report from 1915 underscores the impact of the niacin deficiency disease, pellagra, on admissions to the state hospital, especially among African American patients. Pellagra was the leading cause of discharge by death for African Americans patients.
South Carolina appears to have instituted social services fairly early in its operations, The June 1924 monthly report provides a summary of the work of field worker, Ethel Sharpe. She provided pre-and post-discharge community visits, special investigations, social histories and follow-up work for clinicians. In that month, she provided these services to 98 patients, of whom only 3 were African American. This racially disparate trend continued for some time. Community visits were a crucial step toward discharge from the hospital, so it is not surprising that it may have been more difficult for African American patients to secure their return to their communities. As could be expected, conditions at the State Farm site continued to deteriorate with frequent complaints regarding patient care and employee rights. In 1963, the State Park site was reorganized as a separate entity and renamed Palmetto State Hospital. The stated reason for the change was a move toward a decentralized regional system. The primary benefit of the move was to facilitate the improvement of the white facility in order to qualify for Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations certification and retain its residency program.
South Carolina eventually developed an acceptable plan, which included the opening of an integrated admissions building at the Columbia facility in February 1966. In 1996, the State Hospital and Crafts-Farrow State Hospital consolidated their services and moved patients from Crafts-Farrow to the State Hospital campus, which resulted in the organization of the Division of Psychiatric Rehabilitation Services. As of 2001, CFSH is the site of the Intermediate Care Facility for the treatment of patients with the dual diagnosis of mental illness and mental retardation. This program is operated in cooperation with the Department of Disabilities and Special Needs.