ST. PAUL, MN--(Marketwired - Oct 4, 2016) - HealthEast, the leading health care provider in the East Metro area, announced today that it is expanding its inpatient mental health units at St. Joseph's Hospital to better serve the community. Once complete, HealthEast's Mental Health unit will serve 1,500 additional high acuity and geriatric psychiatric patients. The full expansion will include a total of 36 rooms, increasing the organization's mental health inpatient care by nearly 50 percent.
The organization recently opened and admitted its first patients to the first phase of its mental health expansion at St. Joseph's Hospital. Design and planning work are underway and construction will begin in January on Phase II, which will provide 17 adult rooms and 12 geriatric psychiatric rooms. The expansion will also provide approximately 70 new jobs to St. Paul. Phase II is expected to open during summer 2017.
"There is a great need for additional inpatient mental health beds at HealthEast, as well as across Minnesota and the nation," said Dr. John Kvasnicka, vice president of Medical Affairs, HealthEast. "Our new mental health expansion is a major contribution to meeting unmet mental health care needs across the state."
The design process is currently underway for Phase II. Like Phase I, it will be designed with safety and security as its highest priority, but also provides a calm, warm and inviting environment for patients and staff with large windows, colorful walls and modern furniture, doors and lighting. In addition, the organization held workshops soliciting input from St. Joseph's clinical and operational leaders, providers and staff members to better understand best practices and challenges to design as safe and effective care units as possible.
The new mental health unit extends HealthEast's commitment to pursuing innovative ways to meeting the growing needs for additional inpatient mental health beds across the state. Other initiatives to date include HealthEast's new Behavioral Emergency Care (BEC) unit at St. Joseph's and embedding psychotherapists into its clinics. Adding psychotherapists in the clinics will enable HealthEast to provide outpatient mental health services to more than 700 additional patients annually.
HealthEast (healtheast.org) is the leading health care provider in the Twin Cities' East Metro area. From prevention to cure, we meet the needs of the community with family health and specialty programs that span four hospitals -- Bethesda Hospital, St. John's Hospital, St. Joseph's Hospital and Woodwinds Health Campus -- plus 14 clinics, home care and medical transportation. HealthEast has nearly 7,500 employees and nearly 850 physicians on staff. Our focus is optimal health and well-being for our patients, our communities and ourselves.