VT Edition: Dr. Rob Simpson on the Brattleboro Retreat

09/03/09 12:45PM By Jane Lindholm
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The Brattleboro Retreat was founded 175 years ago by Anna Hunt Marsh, who set aside money in her will for establishing a facility to care for the mentally ill.  Until 1893 it was called the Vermont Asylum for the Insane. 

The retreat has a history of ‘firsts': in 1842 it launched the Asylum Journal, the first patient newspaper to be published by an American hospital.  In 1878 it built the first gym at a mental health hospital.  And later opened the first indoor swimming pool at a U.S. mental health hospital.

Dr. Rob Simpson is the president and CEO of the Retreat.  He says the retreat has always been progressive in its treatment *because of Anna Marsh and the reasons she founded the retreat.


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