Grand re-opening of Fulton State Hospital features new anti-ligature furniture by Norix ensuring the safety of patients.

Fulton State Hospital in Fulton, MO

2019 marked the 168th, and last, year for the old Fulton State Hospital in Fulton, MO. The medium and maximum security mental health facility certainly had a good run, but the oldest mental health facility in the country assuredly required a re-birth.

Safety in Behavioral Healthcare Facilities

The archaic facility had a multitude of issues based on outdated design. Sight lines were not optimized to allow for dependable observation of patients. The facility had spaces that staff and patients were becoming injured and redesign was an urgent need.  The outdated facility was badly in need of protective anti-ligature chairs and bedroom furniture to help protect patients.

Governor Jay Nixon, at the ribbon-cutting ceremony, was quoted by as saying:

Fulton Modern Behavioral Healthcare
Entrance to Fulton State Hospital

“We just saw this incredible, inordinate number of people who were injured here,” Nixon said.  “Then we began to see more and more significant turnover, especially among nurses and things like that. Folks were giving us trouble about overtime but heck, we were out there trying to recruit people for those positions – they’re dangerous, they’re difficult, people are getting hurt.”

The new 219 million dollar facility aimed to solve these problems, with a brighter, secure, more humanized environment.  Within the facility, areas such as private visitation rooms, areas for kids to play, a game room, a chapel, and a training kitchen allow for patients and family to be comfortable.  Chuck Sliger with Heartland Furniture Group understood the challenges Fulton faced and specified a selection of Norix anti-ligature seating, bedroom furniture, and common area furnishings.  The result of the new facility paired with durable and safe furniture helped to create what some are calling the finest mental health facility in the U.S.

“A facility this large, dealing with both medium and maximum security patients, required the utmost consideration in both durability and safety,” said Sliger.  “Norix Furniture continues to innovate and provide solutions to the changing needs of behavioral healthcare facilities.”

Modern visitation area furniture in a behavioral healthcare facility
Furniture helps create a modern look at Fulton State Hospital in Fulton, MO

Creating a Humanized Environment

Engineering group, CASCO + R|5 planned the furniture, fixtures, and equipment (FF&E) for the modern spaces within the facility.  Architectural Designer Gina Walton understood the importance of a humanized environment to facilitate health and healing.

“We needed solutions that both fit the modern design of the plans, and had the ability to ensure safety for staff, patients, and family”, Walton stated.  “Norix was able to provide a wide breadth of products to suit the needs of the areas along with the ambiance”.

Behavioral Healthcare common area featuring Rocksmart rocking chairs
Rocksmart rocking chairs can help soothe residents.

Common areas at Fulton State Hospital feature a diverse selection of Norix furniture.  Hondo Nuevo, Toughcare, X-Base Tables, and even RockSmart rocking chairs, a contemporary rocking chair designed for soothing comfort and aesthetic appeal, are utilized.  X-Base tables are designed to prevent concealed passing of materials.  Hondo Nuevo is designed for comfortable lounging and superb durability.

Resident room featuring safe furniture bolted down to reduce ligature pointsPatient rooms were designed ultimately for safety.  Featured in the rooms are the Attenda line, built to limit suicide risk by eliminating ligature points.  The Attenda platform bed features a removable restraint ring designed for deployment only when necessary.  This gives the facility the option to remove the restraint rings for a more humanized environment.

The push towards reducing ligature points in furniture

In the broad push towards providing safe and durable furniture in intensive use environments, the innovative team at Norix continue to break new ground.  Furniture design features include full-floor contact with the ability to be bolted securely to the floor.  Norix Marketing Director, Brad Karl cites the Joint Commission and its standards for ligature-resistance.

Behavior health facility utilizing safe ligature resistant furniture
Common area at Fulton State Hospital in Fulton, MO

“We have had the fortunate ability over the years to work very closely with facilities to understand real-world needs” stated Karl.   “By listening and responding to the changing needs, our product line has become widely recognized as the standard for demanding environments and we take a lot of pride in the fact that our demand for excellence directly contributes to safety in the real world.”

About Norix:

Norix high quality, durable commercial furniture is specially designed for challenging environments.  Norix products go beyond institutional furniture, integrating contemporary design and color with robust structural integrity.  Norix intensive-use furniture is extraordinary by design, surpassing industry standards for strength, safety and long term performance.

About Heartland Furniture Group:

Heartland Furniture Group is a leading source of interior furnishings for clients throughout the Heartland of America. We share the work ethic, values and needs of the culture associated with this region of the country. Our staff supports consultation, CAD assistance and quotes for any interior application. We back our reputation with dedicated post-sale service.  Website Link

About CASCO + R|5:

Founded in 1959, CASCO + R|5 has a rich history of Engineering and Architecture services. Our defining strength then and now is the commitment to quality and service provided by exceptional talent and dedicated account and project managers. CASCO + R|5’s core competencies provide national leadership in design and engineering.  Website Link