GREENVILLE — Administrators, staff and members of the community gathered at an open house Monday to celebrate as the ribbon was cut to open Wayne HealthCare’s new Senior Behavioral Health Unit.
Terri Flood, director of Marketing and Communications at Wayne HealthCare, greeted those assembled, saying, “As an organization, we are committed to meeting the needs of the community and improving patient care. With the opening of this new senior unit, adults age 65 and older now have an inpatient facility to help them with cognitive impairment and behavioral concerns.”
The Senior Behavioral Health Unit is a short-term, inpatient program aimed to help senior adults age 65 and older to improve their quality of life.
The 8,400-square-foot, 12-bed unit on the second floor of Wayne was formerly the site of a medical/surgical unit at the hospital. The cost to renovate the area was an estimated $1.7 million. The unit has secured access in and out.
The Senior Behavioral Health Unit provides inpatient services for seniors dealing with issues such as cognitive impairment, behavioral problems, increased forgetfulness or confusion, changes in sleeping patterns or insomnia, and delusions and/or hallucinations.
The unit’s staff features a licensed psychiatrist, medical physicians, a program director, registered nurses, nursing assistants, a recreation therapist, a community educator, social worker, physical and occupational therapists, and a dietitian.
Services provided the unit’s staff include intensive nursing, therapeutic group and individual activities, assistance with coping mechanisms and problem solving abilities, medication management, and family support.
Citing a triennial community health needs assessment survey conducted by healthcare organizations in Darke County in partnership with Wright State University, Wayne Deschambeau, president/CEO of Wayne HealthCare, said the new unit addresses an urgent need in the community.
“For the past three times we’ve done this [survey], one of the biggest items that came up was the need for some senior care,” he said. “We’re very delighted to have done this.”
Kim Freeman, vice president of Patient Care Services and chief nursing officer called the unit “another milestone” in Wayne’s master facilities plan.
“Ribbon-cutting ceremonies like this provide an opportunity to reflect on what it took to reach this point,” she said. “We owe a great deal of debt to the many people who worked so hard over the past year to make this project a reality.”
“We are excited about this partnership with Horizon Health and are pleased to we can offer this much-needed service to our community,” Freeman added.
Speaking to the partnership between Wayne HealthCare and Horizon Health to help manage the new Senior Behavioral Health Unit, Flood said, “Horizon is committed to doing what is best for our patients and those we serve through our programs and services. Horizon Health believes in building long-lasting relationships with patients, their families and the communities we serve, which is a supporting factor in our partnership.”
“Providing quality care and promoting wellness close to home is our mission and Horizon’s suite of behavioral health services enables us to expand and enhance the clinical services provided to senior adults,” she added, noting that discussions with Horizon and other behavioral health organizations took place midway through 2015, with the decision to partner with Horizon coming in July 2016.
“As a company, we’re very passionate about behavioral health,” said Heather Steiner, vice president of Operations at Horizon Health. “A lot goes into making sure our patients are safe.”
Admissions to the unit are accepted 24 hours a day, with referrals made by physicians, psychologists, mental health professionals, social workers, social service agencies, hospital emergency departments, family members, and friends. Self referrals are also accepted.
The ribbon cutting was hosted by the Darke County Chamber of Commerce.
The writer may be reached at 937-569-4314. Join the conversation and get updates on Facebook search Darke County Sports or Advocate 360. For more features online go to dailyadvocate.com