Davis Medical Center opens behavioral health unit for seniors

ELKINS, W.Va. – Vance Jackson, FACHE, CEO of Davis Health System, announced Wednesday the opening of Laurel Place, a new 20-bed center for patients 55 and over with acute psychiatric or behavioral disorders.

“Laurel Place greatly expands access to inpatient mental health treatment for seniors across the region,” Jackson said. “This program meets a growing need of the community.”

The facility is located within Davis Medical Center in Elkins and is designed for short-term stays, with the goal of returning patients to where they live. It serves individuals coming from private residences, assisted living centers and nursing homes.

On Tuesday, Davis Medical Center received full accreditation from the Joint Commission for Laurel Place.  The hospital has had a “soft opening” during December and will begin admitting patients on Jan. 1, 2019.

“Because we treat a large and growing population of elderly patients, we recognized the need for greater mental and physical healthcare for seniors. We determined that an inpatient geriatric behavioral health program at Davis Medical Center was essential to filling a patient care gap that existed in our communities,” Jackson added.

Davis Health System decided to create the unit last year and submitted a Certificate of Need (CON) with the West Virginia Health Care Authority. The CON was approved and construction began in early 2018 for the transfer of 20 acute beds from the DMC license to the inpatient behavioral health unit.

“We provide evaluation and treatment for patients who suffer from debilitating symptoms of depression, dementia, anxiety or other behavioral issues that occur as part of the natural aging process,” said Cindy Lanham, RN, BSN and Program Director of Laurel Place. “Our staff is specially trained to understand and respond to the medical, cognitive, functional and psychosocial factors involved with each patient’s care.”

Davis Medical Center partnered with Psychiatric Medical Care (PMC) and Green Oak Behavioral Health in the planning and development of the inpatient unit.

“PMC and Senior Life Solutions currently provide the outpatient senior behavioral health program at Broaddus Hospital. Their expertise and resources in geriatric-psychiatry care will ensure the success of our new inpatient program,” said Lanham.

Laurel Place, located on the second floor, will be locked and is designed with the latest equipment and industry-specific procedures to provide a safe, caring environment for patients. The unit features a community room for daily social and group activities.

“We learned in our Community Health Needs Assessment that behavioral health is a topic of concern for many. Laurel Place will be helpful to families that are trying to care for elderly relatives, especially those who currently have to travel outside the region for this type of care,” CEO Jackson said. “Our mission is to create these core services in our community.”

Persons interested in learning more about Laurel Place including information about program and care services, frequently asked questions, how to refer, and more should visit the website at laurelplace.org or call Program Director Cindy Lanham, RN, BSN at 304-630-3508.

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