VERNON CENTER. In 1951 the Vernon State Home in Vernon was activated as a branch of the Wichita Falls State Hospital. It was separated from the Wichita Falls Hospital and dedicated on May 28, 1970, as a state hospital facility of the Texas Department of Mental Health and Mental Retardation. The center at Vernon received its first patients from the Wichita Falls hospital and also from direct admissions. Units were established geographically for alcoholics, ambulatory geriatrics, and mental retardates. Three outreach clinics were operational, with six more planned. In 1969 the Vernon Center had 275 patients, by 1972 it had 531. The number of patients has remained about 500. In 1992 it was 430, of which 110 were in the Drug Dependency Youth Program at the South Campus and 320 in the maximum security hospital at the North Campus.