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)