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Executive Council To Vote on State Hospital Contract Amid Suicide Investigation

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THOMAS FEARON
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The Executive Council is slated to vote Wednesday on a contract between the state hospital and Dartmouth-Hitchcock Hospital. The vote comes as an independent investigation gets underway about a former patient's suicide. 

That patient's name was Joy Silva, and she jumped from a Nashua building in July, just hours after being released from New Hampshire Hospital. 

Silva's suicide came during a big transition at the state's only psychiatric hospital - Dartmouth-Hitchcock had just taken over managing the hospital's psychiatric staff, and about a dozen of those staff didn't renew contracts because of disputes with Dartmouth-Hitchcock.

Now an independent team of experts is reviewing the suicide.

Two weeks ago the Executive Council tabled a vote on extending the contract with Dartmouth-Hitchcock. Now Republican Executive Councilor Joe Kenney says he plans to vote for it.

"It was a very tough case - very unfortunate" says Kenney. "But I think at the end of the day, that the people that were in decision-making authority levels did what they though was right at the time."

Dartmouth-Hitchcock was the sole bidder on the three-year contract, which is worth up to $35.5 million.

Before joining NHPR in August 2014, Jack was a freelance writer and radio reporter. His work aired on NPR, BBC, Marketplace and 99% Invisible, and he wrote for the Christian Science Monitor and Northern Woodlands.

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