By Tammy Walro – Press Publications
“A very exciting day,” – that’s how Mercy and Catholic Health Partners officials described the formal announcement on Feb. 17 of a new $21 million Behavioral Health Institute that will be constructed on the campus of Mercy St. Charles Hospital in Oregon.
The two-story building, which will connect to the main hospital, will offer a range of inpatient, partial-hospitalization and outpatient mental and behavioral health services in one location.
Dr. Imran Andrabi, chief operating officer for Mercy, with a rendition
of the new $21 million project. (Press photo by Ken Grosjean)
Construction is expected to be completed in early 2015, at which time inpatient psychiatric services at St. Charles and Mercy St. Vincent will transition to the new facility.
“As healthcare transforms and adapts to new models of care, we have to make sure that we are transforming along with it, so that we are proactive in our change and not reacting,” Dr. Imran Andrabi, chief operating officer and president/chief network integration officer for Mercy, said at a press conference. “Mercy has been on a journey, along with Catholic Health Partners, to make sure we create an environment in which we can provide the best quality of care with the highest safety to our patients and the community, and to do that while lowering costs at the same time.
“A critical component of this transformation is creating ‘centers of excellence,’ at which we can offer access to a range of in-depth services to patients and their families in one location,” he said. “It’s our great pleasure to develop our first Center of Excellence with experts from Catholic Health Partners Behavioral Health here at St. Charles.”
The “Center of Excellence” model fits in with Mercy’s and Catholic Health Partners’ mission of treating the whole person – mind, body and spirit, throughout the whole lifespan, according to Dr. Donna Markham, president, Behavioral Health Institute, Catholic Health Partners.
“Behavioral health is a critical component in one’s life and well-being, and needs to be integrated into the full continuum of care,” she said. “Today, healthcare professionals know the strong connections between mental and physical health – people with behavioral health issues are at higher risk of developing chronic physical conditions, and people with chronic physical health issues are at higher risk of developing behavioral health conditions.
“As the largest health system in Ohio, we recognize this link and are taking action to ensure that behavioral health concerns are addressed appropriately, at the right time and with the right treatment options available,” Dr. Markham said. “Patients and their families deserve nothing less.”
The new facility’s comprehensive approach to behavioral health that doesn’t currently exist in the market, Dr. Markham said.
“CHP and Mercy are leading the change throughout the state and locally,” Dr. Markham said. “We have two facilities that serve behavioral health patients – St. Vincent’s and St. Charles. Both of those facilities serve acute care patients alone. We do not have a continuum of care at either site.
“After a lot of engagement with market leaders and taking a look at what seemed to be the best approach, we determined it would really be in the best interest of our patients if we could establish one comprehensive institute that would serve the needs of the patients in this community.
“With that, we considered, where could we put a 62,000-square-foot facility that would be proximate to a hospital because of the medical needs that surface in behavioral health,” she said. “After considerable research, the determination was made that it would be on the St. Charles campus.
“The new facility will offer acute care, which serves patients in their crisis time, when they need a safe environment to overcome the most critical stage of their illness,” Dr. Markham said. “Expanded services will include partial hospitalization, which is a day program where patients come in the morning and then go home in the afternoon. They sleep at home so it doesn’t disrupt their lives. This helps to consolidate the gains they’ve made once they start feeling a little bit better.”
The Behavioral Health Institute will also have intensive outpatient services. “There will be two different tracks – to serve chemical dependency and mental health patients,” Dr. Markham said.
“We (Catholic Health Partners) have undertaken this in Moraine, Ohio, in Paducah, Ky., and there will be others across the state, but this one is our focus in the coming year,” she said. “Our work here in Lucas County is the most ambitious of our undertakings, given the size and the needs.”
According to Brian Currin, project manager at Danis Building Construction, some preliminary site work has been started, and an official groundbreaking will be held when the weather permits.
Though Danis is located in Miamisburg, the company has already begun to seek out local contractors for the project. “We’ll be using local paint, drywall and other contractors,” Currin said. “Overall, the project will be a very good boost for the local trades.”
“We’re so excited about Mercy and Catholic Health Partners’ investment in the Oregon community,” said Mike Beasley, City of Oregon administrator. “Mercy has not only been a good employer, but also an excellent service provider in Oregon for a number of years.”