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On April 2, 2008, the inaugural meeting of the Alabama Department of Mental Health's first Historical Committee was convened by Commissioner John Houston. Composed of diverse individuals with varying backgrounds, this auspicious body was established for the purpose of formulating "...a comprehensive restoration and preservation plan for the historic portion of Bryce Hospital, its historical documents, and other artifacts relative to the history of the facility".

Mission

The committee's primary mission is threefold:

  1. to ensure Bryce Hospital's preservation in order that it might continue to stand in perpetuity as a symbolic tribute honoring the humanity of patients, families, and caregivers who have lived and endured the Bryce Hospital experience;
  2. to bring national recognition to Bryce hospital for its historically significant architectural and cultural contributions to issues and social movements that have swept the nation; and
  3. to ensure Bryce hospital's future role as a valuable resource to the nation, state, and local community.

Vision

The committee will make recommendations to the commissioner of the Alabama Department of Mental Health in the preservation of Bryce Hospital's history for future generations.

Membership

Mike Autrey

Director, Office of Consumer Relations, Alabama Department of Mental Health

Roxanna Bender

Facility Director, Taylor Hardin Secure Medical Facility, Alabama Department of Mental Health

Melanie Betz

Architectural Historian, Alabama Historical Commission

Dr. Paul Bisbee

Former Facility Director, Alabama Department of Mental Health

Nancy Callahan

Representing descendants of Dr. James S. Tarwater – former Superintendent of Bryce Hospital

Rosemarie Childress

Representing the Tuscaloosa Preservation Society

Susan Cork

Representing descendants of Mrs. Ellen Bryce – wife of Dr. Peter Bryce, first Superintendent of Bryce Hospital

Judy Courington

Clinical Director, Western Mental Health Center

Paul Davis

Publisher, Davis Publications and long-time advocate on behalf of Alabama residents with mental illness

Steve Davis

Historian, Alabama Department of Mental Health

Ann Denbo

Representing NAMI Alabama

Camille Elebash

Representing descendants of Dr. James T. Searcy – former Superintendent of Bryce Hospital

John England

Tuscaloosa County Circuit Court Judge and former Associate Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court

Allen Fortson

Director, Office of Rights Protection & Advocacy, Alabama Department of Mental Health

Robert Hermes

Executive Director, Wings Across Alabama

Ilouise Partlow Hill

Representing descendants of Dr. W. D. Partlow – former Superintendent of Bryce Hospital

Dr. Tom Hobbs

Executive Director, Western Mental Health Center, Inc.

Dr. Robert Mellown

Associate Professor of Art, University of Alabama

Dr. Rufus Partlow

Representing descendants of Dr. W. D. Partlow – former Superintendent of Bryce Hospital

Betty Shirley

Long-time advocate on behalf of Alabama residents with mental illness

Lee Ann Wofford

Cemetery Preservationist, Alabama Historical Commission