St. Elizabeths To Get Cubans For Treatment

By Donnel Nunes
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, October 9, 1980; 12:00 PM

The federal government has decided to transfer 110 Cuban refugees with mental or emotional problems from refugee camps in Pennsylvania and Wisconsin to St. Elizabeths Hospital in the District of Columbia for further treatment.

The refugees, most of whose emotional problems developed after they fled Cuba during the mass exodus earlier this, year, are to be transferred here because the two camps they have been housed in are to be closed by next Wednesday, federal and local officials said yesterday.

The transfers are expected to begin immediately.

According to the officials, virtually all of the refugees are considered treatable and eventually are expected to be settled in the United States without further problems.

"There was an understanding," said William H. Whitehurst, deputy director of the District's Department of Human Services, "that they would be utilizing the facilities at St. Elizabeths." A federal official also confirmed that the patients will be treated at St. Elizabeths, a federal facility.

"Most of them will [be housed in a mental facility] for a short period of time," a White House Spokesman said yesterday. "I don't think any of them, or very, very few of them will need long-term treatment or care. . . . We're not considering any type of long-term arrangement."

CONTINUED     1        >

© 1980 The Washington Post Company