Gov. Chris Christie Wednesday announced the appointment of members to the new state Mental Health Facilities Evaluation Task Force.
The 21-member task force is charged with completing with what is described as a thorough and swift examination of the state Department of Human Services' closure plan for Hagedorn Psychiatric Hospital in Glen Gardner (Hunterdon).
Under an agreement with the federal government, the department has an obligation to move recovering psychiatric patients out of their respective hospitals and into the community.
"In this current economic climate, we must evaluate every opportunity to reduce costs responsibly while serving patients properly and effectively in the community," Christie said. "I trust the members of the task force will evaluate and guide that process."