NAMPA -- A major transition is underway at a local facility that's been a landmark in our area for nearly 100 years.

It started as the Idaho State Sanitarium in Nampa, providing care for thousands of patients with developmental disabilities, and often times mental health issues as well.

Now, it's called the Southwest Idaho Treatment Center, and there is a different philosophy when it comes to the 33 patients there.

In the last few years, there has been a push to get patients out of institutions like the Southwest Idaho Treatment Center, and back in to the community.

The administrator there says while it's hard to see the facility's resources shrink, it's what's right for the patients.

Years ago, Canyon Hall housed patients. It was a residential home for those with intellectual or physical disabilities.

Now, it's empty, except for old wheelchairs and equipment.

The building itself is even beginning to fall apart.

The facility opened in 1918, and in the 1950s was filled with about a thousand patients.

But administrator Susan Broetje says in 2009 legislators pushed to discharge all clients, in an effort to de-institutionalize, and put patients back in their own communities.

The data is pretty solid that their development improves when they are in a community, said Broetje.

But Broetje says the committee decided the facility needed to stay open, as a last resort for those who needed a higher level of care.

The state also developed a statewide crisis prevention team.

While our admissions are very low, we are still the safety net, and I don't see that going away, said Broetje.

Currently, there are 33 patients at what's now called the Southwest Idaho Treatment Center.

There are newer residential homes and about 160 employees.

Broetje says while the facility is far from what it used to be, she believes the cuts were the right move.

None of that was ever mentioned as funding, it really was a philosophical movement that people deserved to live in their communities, said Broetje.

We're told most of the campus in Nampa has been leased, and several buildings have been demolished.

Another, smaller facility has been opened in North Idaho, and a third is planned for the southeast area of the state.

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