October 15th, 2009
Points North, a show on Interlochen Public Radio in Michigan, recently produced a program about Traverse City State Hospital: listen here. The program is 50+ minutes and full of personal history told by hospital employees and patients of the hospital. In the beginning you even get to listen in as former employees tour the Kirkbride building and tell stories of their experiences—the mundane and unusual, the humorous and sad.
What’s particularly fascinating is the contrast between the patients’ feelings and the those of the employees. The former almost exclusively express a fondness for the hospital, while the patients interviewed express good and bad feelings about the hospital.
The end of the program is about Heidi Johnson and her connection to the hospital. It tells a sad side of her story that I personally hadn’t heard before and was surprised to learn.