Strong Hospital Wins Approval for Adolescent Psychiatric Beds

New Beds Solve an Acute Community Need and Broaden Strong's Psychiatric Services

December 18, 2001

The New York State Office of Mental Health has approved a Strong Memorial Hospital application to operate 12 new adolescent psychiatric beds, filling a gap left when Genesee Hospital closed last June.

In July, Strong had converted 10 adult psychiatric beds for adolescent patients as an emergency measure, after the community lost Genesee Hospital's 12-bed adolescent unit. At the time, the only other psychiatric beds were Strong's 15-bed child and adolescent unit.

"The decision to award these beds to Strong Memorial Hospital is an important step, ensuring needed in-patient beds will be there to serve adolescents in the community," said James Stone, New York State Mental Health Commissioner.

According to the state office's approval letter, Strong Memorial Hospital had the "unanimous support of the County Directors of Community Services" who reviewed proposals to operate the beds. The approval will become final after Strong Memorial Hospital satisfies several contingencies, such as submitting plans to assist patients with transportation.

"Our gratitude goes to county executive Jack Doyle, Monroe County Mental Health director Steven Dungan, commissioner Jim Stone, and the state legislative delegates who supported our proposal," said Peter G. Robinson, vice president and COO, University of Rochester Medical Center and Strong Health. "They recognized the importance of this, and the benefit it will bring to the children of our community."

Without the new beds, Monroe County faced having to send patients to as far away as Albany or even out of state to receive care. Strong Memorial Hospital is now poised to provide more care to rural communities, as well. Strong has met with the directors of Mental Health in all of the rural counties surrounding Monroe, to learn what their needs are and make plans to meet those needs.

"This is part of an ongoing effort to build a center of excellence in child and adolescent psychiatry," said Eric Caine, M.D., chair of Psychiatry at the University of Rochester Medical Center. "The new beds will help not only with treatment of mental health problems, but with prevention. If you intervene early in life, you prevent a lot of problems later in life."

Strong is in the unique position to offer separate psychiatric units for adolescents and children, recognizing that patients at different developmental levels need care specifically designed for them. That emphasis is actually part of a broad effort to provide mental-health services to children and adolescents wherever those services are needed. The new beds, along with a new Youth Crisis Team that can provide psychiatric services in children's homes, schools and community-based clinician's offices, round out a complete spectrum of services.

"The University of Rochester Medical Center has truly become a full-service provider of child and adolescent psychiatric services," said John P. Glazer, M.D., director of the Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Program.

The child and adolescent psychiatric units also work closely with Strong Children's Hospital, as many of their patients have serious medical illnesses, as well. According to Glazer, the only way to provide cutting-edge psychiatric care is to have access to excellent medical care.

Strong Memorial Hospital's Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Program now operates a variety of specialty services for children, youth, and their families. These include its units for younger children and for adolescents, an adolescent partial hospital, consultative services for the Strong Children's Hospital, the mobile crisis service team, forensic services, a variety of group therapies, and an array of outpatient therapeutic programs. Outside of Rochester and Monroe County, the program is developing a "rural psychiatry program" in collaboration with Upstate counties and their social service agencies.

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