Baystate Medical Center to provide 12-bed behavioral health unit for children following area shortage
Providence Behavioral Health, operating locally as Trinity Health Of New England, closed its 74 inpatient psychiatric beds in September that it once offered in Holyoke. This number included the only 12 pediatric psychiatric beds for children and adolescents available in the region.
The loss of Providence has exacerbated a chronic shortage of pediatric behavioral health beds and left many vulnerable children with no resources available for inpatients in the region.
There was one alarming number of children waiting for days and weeks in emergencies and in pediatric medical units.
According to Dr. Barry Sarvet, chair of the Department of Psychiatry at Baystate Health, Baystate Health is working with the State Department of Mental Health on how to meet the behavioral health needs of the younger population.
“This new unit will serve as a gateway for us to provide inpatient psychiatric care for children and adolescents over the next two years when our new Baystate-Kindred Joint Venture Behavioral Health Hospital opens a permanent pediatric / adolescent unit. This temporary plan is in line with Baystate Health’s long-standing commitment to behavioral health services, ”said Sarvet, who specializes in pediatric psychiatry.
The Baystate Medical Center unit will meet an immediate need until a $ 43 million, 120-bed behavioral health hospital is built from scratch in the old one. Holyoke Geriatric Authority to place.
Competitor Holyoke Medical Center, citing the same factors, is spending $ 6.5 million to convert its old birthing center into a nine-bed pediatric unit and an 18-bed adult unit is slated to open in May. Holyoke Medical Center has already started advertising for staff.
The project is separate from ongoing plans for an 84-bed psychiatric unit on the Holyoke Medical Center campus.
But the plans for Baystate and Holyoke Medical Center are in conflict. Holyoke Medical Center president Spiros Hatiras said the state was unlikely to approve two mental health facilities so close to each other.
The two new hospitals are years in the future and Baystate plans to open in 2023.
The planned Baystate facility will address the region’s shortage of inpatient behavioral health beds for adults, including geriatrics, as well as adolescents and children.
“Baystate Health is fully committed to the principle that behavioral health is integral to the overall health and well-being of everyone in our community. As a result, we proudly accept our responsibility to fill critical gaps in clinical resources to meet the needs of people of all ages with psychiatric illness, ”said Sarvet.
Baystate plans to consolidate its services in Holyoke.
When the new hospital opens, the healthcare system will close 22 psychiatric beds at Baystate Franklin Medical Center in Greenfield, 20 at Baystate Noble in Westfield, and 27 at Baystate Wing in Palmer.
Baystate will maintain 28 psychiatric beds on its main campus in Springfield.