Hillcrest Mental Health Center

Hillcrest Mental Health Center

Description

Built on 22 acres and nestled next to the Washelli Cemetery, the Hillcrest Center is approached via an elegant wrought iron gate in the long brick southern wall. After driving up past the long well maintained lawn, one is greeted by tall drab building of gray stone and corroded copper. Several other wings spread out behind it along with unattached structures.

In addition to dealing with people with mental illness, the facility also holds the local VA ward. The West Wing holds a coma ward on the top floor. This is funded by the Pleseus Guild.

Beneath the East Wing, below even the sealed subbasements, is a series of tunnels leading to strange black cubes of unknown supernatural power.

Notable Patients

History

Founded in 1882 by Dr. Ignatius Hopper, Hillcrest has many up and downs due to poor financial management. It closed in 1934 due to a scandal involving embezzlement and fraud. Under Dr. Werner who exposed the previous director’s mismanagement, it is reopened in 1952. Finances improved under Dr. sendak who brought in new corporate sponsors. The current director is Dr. Bridget McClusky.

A statue of Dr. Hopper can be found in the gardens behind the East Wing.

Directors

  • Dr. Ignatius Hopper (1882-1885) [1830-1898]
  • Dr. Edward Brake (1885-1917) [1850-1917]
  • Dr. Donald Roe (1917-1920) [1852-1920]
  • Farnsworth W. Weaver (1920-1933) [1869-1933]
  • Dr. Thomas Werner (1952-1954) [1899-1955]
  • Dr. Jeremiah J. Moorcock (1955-1973) [1925-]
  • Dr. Jonathan Sendak (1974-1980) [1924-2003]
  • Dr. Thomas Bateman (1980-1991) [1950-1993]
  • Dr. Bridget McClusky (1992-) [1952-]

Timeline

  • 1882: following the boom in the timber industry, celebrated physician Dr. Ignatius Hopper founds the Hillcrest Sanitarium. It is named in honor of Amelia Hillcrest, a wealthy donor.
  • 1885: with the completion of the sanitarium, Dr. Hopper suffers a stroke. Care of the facility is given to Dr. Edward Brake.
  • 1898: Dr. Hopper dies in his office of a heart attack at age 68. A statue is erected for him on the grounds near the East Wing.
  • 1906: Fire breaks out in the east wing killing 17 staff and 116 inmates. The doctors and orderlies blamed for the disaster are later acquitted.
  • 1907: Dr. Brake begins a program of renovation of the entire hospital. The preexisting tunnels beneath the East wing are incorporated into the sub basement. However upon completion, Dr. Brake has them sealed.
  • 1917: Dr. Brake commits suicide by hanging. Dr. Donald Roe, his assistant become director of the Sanitarium. He discovers the finances to be in shambles and drastically cuts staff.
  • 1920: Laurence Merrigan, a delusional patient, escapes and strangles Roe to death in his office. He then cuts his own throat with a scalpel.
  • 1921: Farnsworth W. Weaver of Weaver Pharma is made director. As he is not a doctor he takes on Dr. Matthew Gorlay as Head of Medicine.
  • 1933: Dr. Werner, a junior staff member, discovers Gorlay has been experimenting on patients for over a decade. He takes this to the AMA committee on Ethics. It is found Gorlay covered up the deaths of over 300 patients and permanent damage to another 150. Many champion Gorlay but ultimately he is found guilty of fraud. Weaver is also found guilty of embezzlement.
  • 1934: Weaver get 3 years for fraud and embezzlement. Gorlay gets 5 years but commits suicide. 13 other staff members are sentenced for 1 to 3 years. Hillcrest shuts down.
  • 1939: Dr. Werner buys Hillcrest at auction.
  • 1944-1946: Hillcrest Sanitarium become Hillcrest Hospital and serves veterans of the Pacific War.
  • 1952: Hillcrest Hospital reopens.
  • 1954: Werner retires at 55. Dr. Moorcock takes over as director.
  • 1955: Werner dies. Moorcock convinces the board of directors to make Hillcrest a mental health center again.
  • 1956: East Wing reopens.
  • 1973: Moorcock suffers a prefrontal lobotomy by persons unknown.
  • 1974: Dr. Sendak is appointed director and reforms the hospital. Under his guidance the hospital is saved by the Barthus, a French Pharmaceutical company. Later they sell stakes to Peregrine LCC and Weide GmbH. The Garden Wings is established on the fourth floor of the West Wing.
  • 1980: Sendak retires. Bateman becomes director.
  • 1991: Bateman kills his assistant Dr. Alexander Valerio he is apprehended several months later. He ultimately sentenced to 26 in prison. He dies in 1993.
  • 1992: Dr. Bridget McClusky becomes director.

Hillcrest Mental Health Center

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