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Yabut new medical director at State Hospital

The Governing Body of the North Dakota State Hospital met the new medical director during its regular quarterly meeting Monday.

Dr. Eduardo Yabut accepted the position after working about eight years as medical director at South Central Human Service Center in Jamestown.

"I look forward to helping the facility in my capacity as acting medical director," Yabut said. "It is a good facility to work at."

He replaces Dr. Andrew McClean, who left the facility in March after serving as medical director since October 2006.

The board also heard a review of changes in North Dakota law that affect the State Hospital from Alex Schweitzer, hospital superintendent.

Some changes in the law allow the use of telemedicine technology, video conferences or video appointments to conduct court-ordered psychiatric examinations. Other laws allow parole officers to supervise sexually dangerous individuals who have been placed in the community and exempt the State Hospital grounds from a new law that allows employees to keep firearms in parked vehicles at their places of employment.

Schweitzer also reviewed the budget approved by the Legislature.

"Our funding level continues at 132 beds of traditional service, eight beds for adolescents and 76 beds for the secure services," he said.

The traditional services area serves people with drug addiction or psychiatric problems while the secure services area houses the sex offender program.

The budget includes salary and benefit increases totaling $3.9 million for the traditional services area. The overall operational budget increased by $2.1 million. The biggest decline in funding was a $2 million decrease in capital improvements.

"The budgets look good and should allow us to meet the needs," Schweitzer said.

Sun reporter Keith Norman can be reached at (701) 952-8452 or by e-mail at