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WellSpan Health to expand behavioral health suite at WellSpan Ephrata Community Hospital

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

$3.4 million project will double capacity, allowing the hospital to provide longer-term care for patients with more complex needs 

WellSpan Health announced today its plans to expand the behavioral health suite at WellSpan Ephrata Community Hospital, continuing the health system’s commitment to improve access to mental health care across southcentral Pennsylvania.

The $3.4 million project will add 3,300 square feet and more than double the capacity of the hospital’s behavioral health unit. The expanded space will allow WellSpan to provide care for patients who require a longer length of stay, based on seriousness or complexity of their mental or physical health needs.

Construction is set to begin this week, with completion expected this summer. Once completed, the newly expanded behavioral health suite will include areas for group therapy, activities and dining.

During the construction, WellSpan Ephrata Community Hospital will temporarily close its behavioral health unit for about five months to accommodate the expansion work. WellSpan Philhaven, which manages the unit, will continue to provide consultations for patients who come to Ephrata’s emergency department. Also, WellSpan Philhaven’s inpatient hospital in Mt. Gretna will address the needs of residents who require inpatient care during this time.

The Ephrata facility will be the first behavioral health unit at a WellSpan acute-care hospital to offer care for both short-stay and extended-stay patients. The new 18-bed unit will accommodate patients with less acute needs who require a stay of three to 10 days, while also serving the needs of patients with more persistent mental illness, whose stay may extend up to 180 days.

“This newly expanded and enhanced behavioral health suite will allow patients to receive coordinated, high-quality care that meets their individual needs,” said Carrie Willetts, senior vice president of WellSpan Health and president of WellSpan Ephrata Community Hospital. ”It’s a continuation of WellSpan’s commitment to treating the whole person – including the mind and the body – to improve overall health.”

WellSpan Philhaven, the region’s most comprehensive behavioral health organization, is leading the expansion project.

“We are excited to develop this new resource for our Lancaster County communities,” said Phil Hess, senior vice president of WellSpan and president of WellSpan Philhaven. “This new service will allow persons who experience persistent mental illness to receive care in their local community, closer to their family and support systems.”

Philhaven joined WellSpan Health in January 2016. Today, WellSpan Philhaven now includes 27 locations across Lancaster, Lebanon, York, Adams and Dauphin counties.

WellSpan Philhaven has been expanding services to meet the growing behavioral health needs in the communities it serves. The WellSpan Ephrata Community Hospital project follows the recent opening of a new 10-room behavioral health suite in the emergency department at WellSpan York Hospital and the addition of a full-time behavioral health clinician at WellSpan Good Samaritan Hospital’s emergency department.

About WellSpan Health

WellSpan Health is an integrated health system that serves the communities of central Pennsylvania and northern Maryland. The organization is comprised of a multispecialty medical group of more than 1,200 physicians and advanced practice clinicians, a home care organization, six respected hospitals, more than 15,000 employees, and more than 130 patient care locations. WellSpan is a charitable, mission-driven organization, committed to exceptional care for all, lifelong wellness and healthy communities.

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