DERRY — Construction begins soon on Parkland Medical Center’s new behavioral health wing.
Hospital administrators and staff joined town officials to celebrate the $3 million project with a groundbreaking ceremony May 15.
The new wing will be a two-story, 7,462-square-foot addition to the existing hospital building that will house a 14-bed emotional/behavioral health unit.
The new wing will provide adult voluntary mental health services at Parkland, rather than sending patients to other facilities in the region.
“Emotional wellness is an essential part of a person’s overall health,” Parkland CEO Chris Accashian said. “We are proud to offer this new program, which will provide more patients with comprehensive, individualized care when they need it most, without leaving their community.”
Hospital officials have said the new space will help patients who are often forced to wait in the emergency department until a bed is located for them at another facility, which can sometimes take days.
Treatment can begin that much sooner, Accashian said.
The assessment, planning, delivery and evaluation of patient care and safety will be performed by a therapeutic team consisting of doctors, nurses, social workers, case management, active therapy and clinical nutrition.
The $3 million project will mean hiring approximately 20 new staff members, including nurses and social workers.
The patient treatment plan at Parkland will include active psychiatric treatment, medication administration and monitoring, and aftercare strategies and plans to involve family and individual support systems.
Center for Life Management CEO Vic Topo said his organization has had a strong partnership with Parkland for many years, supporting patients with mental health issues, and making sure they find the right treatment and services for their emotional well-being.
Having a program like this in place at Parkland will reduce the time it takes to find the right services and placement for a patient, officials said Right now, the majority of Parkland’s referrals go to Elliot Hospital, but other placements are also made at Hampstead Hospital or in Portsmouth.
The new wing is strictly a voluntary-admissions unit for patients, Topo said.
Hospital officials hope to have the new behavioral health unit up and running by January 2015.