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Minnesota Agencies

Information on Minnesota State Agencies, Boards, Task Forces, and Commissions

Compiled by the Minnesota Legislative Reference Library

Anoka-Metro Regional Treatment Center - HRB

Also known as:
First State Asylum for the Insane (1899-1919)
Anoka State Asylum (1919-1937)
Anoka State Hospital (1937-1985)
Active dates:1899-

The Anoka-Metro Regional Treatment Center (AMRTC) is the state’s largest psychiatric hospital. Overseen by the Minnesota Department of Human Services (DHS), the hospital operates 110 beds on a secure campus in Anoka, MN.

The Hospital Review Board (HRB) hears State Operated Services (SOS) clients' concerns regarding the conditions affecting their care, and provides verbal or written recommendations to SOS administration.The Hospital Review Board (the HRB) was established by and operates under Minnesota Statutes 253B.22. The HRB meets and acts in three-member panels comprised of an attorney, a psychologist, and a member of the public. HRB members meet with SOS clients and staff. During the HRB's meetings each client receives approximately 15 minutes to present his issues to the HRB. Following the hearing, the HRB may make a verbal or written recommendation to SOS administrators. The panel chair prepares written recommendations, if necessary. Candidates for appointment to the HRB must be an attorney, a psychologist, or a member of the public. All candidates must meet the qualifications listed below. Individuals employed by the Minnesota Department of Human Services or affiliated with the Minnesota Department of Human Services within the last year are ineligible for appointment to the HRB.


The Anoka State Hospital was established by an act of the legislature (1899 Minn. Laws Chap. 230) as the First State Asylum for the Insane. When it opened in 1900, the hospital served as a transfer asylum, admitting patients who were transferred from the state's receiving hospitals, which admitted mentally ill patients for the first time. In 1951, it, too, became a receiving hospital. The first residents, 100 male patients, came from St. Peter State Hospital and were considered to be "chronic, incurables." By 1906, 115 female patients had been transferred to the hospital from the facility in St. Peter. In 1909, it was decided that Anoka would admit only female transfer patients and that the state hospital in Hastings would admit the male transfer patients. However, construction of an additional building in 1925 allowed the hospital once again to admit male patients.

The hospital's name was changed to Anoka State Asylum in 1919 (1919 Minn. Laws Chap. 98) and to Anoka State Hospital in 1937 (1937 Minn. Laws Chap. 107). In 1985 the name was changed to Anoka-Metro Regional Treatment Center (Executive Order No. 85-17).

From 1948 to 1967, the hospital served as the tuberculosis treatment center for the mentally ill. During the early 1970s, the hospital administered programs for emotionally disturbed children and adolescents. These programs have since been discontinued. The hospital now administers programs for the treatment of mentally ill adults from Anoka, Hennepin, Sherburne, and Ramsey counties, and treats chemically dependent adults from Sherburne, Anoka, and Hennepin counties. An infirmary and clinic are provided for the physical health care of all residents at the hospital.

The hospital was initially directed by a board of trustees, overseen by the State Board of Corrections and Charities. With other state institutions, the hospital has been subject to the authority of the Board of Control from 1901 to 1939, the Division of Public Institutions of the Social Security Department from 1939 to 1953, and, since 1953, the Public Welfare Department. The hospital is headed by an administrator, and medical and chemical dependency directors. (Source: Minnesota State Archives)

Entries for this agency in the Annual Compilation and Statistical Report of Multi-Member Agencies Report: 2023, 2022, 2021, 2020, 2019, 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013.

Note: This report provides membership details as well as meeting information and a summary of the group's activities.

Agency heads:

Superintendents: John Coleman, 1900-1922; Arthur Craine, 1923-1936; M. W. Kemp, 1937-1938; Walter P. Gardner, 1939-1944; Edmund W. Miller, 1945-1952; John H. Reitman, 1953-1956; Donald B. Peterson, 1957-1962; Medical directors: John Docherty, 1963-1968; David J. Vail, 1969-1970; Octavio C. Pinnell, 1971-1972; Theodore Greenfield, 1973-1976; John Benninghoff, 1977-; Chief executive officers: Elaine Timmer, 1992-

Note: The Legislative Reference Library may have additional reports on or by this group available through our catalog.
News clippings and documents. Agencies Notebook Collection, 1980-2020.
Record last updated: 06/16/2022

All information on this group from the Library’s collection of agency notebooks has been digitized. These materials are incorporated into the “documents/articles” section of the record. Please contact a librarian with any questions. The Minnesota Agencies database is a work in progress.

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