St. Vincent Opens New 16-bed Geriatric Psych Unit

UPDATED APRIL 14, 2015:

On Monday April 13th, St. Vincent Charity Medical Center held a grand opening ceremony for their new geriatric psychiatry unit.  ideastream’s Anne Glausser reports the unit will help meet the growing demand for senior mental health care. 

Reverend Ted Marzal gave the traditional opening blessing for St. Vincent Charity Medical Center’s new 16-bed, $1.5 million psychiatric unit.  University Hospitals runs a similar unit in Richmond Heights, which is often overflowing, says Dr. Leslie Koblentz, who is the head of behavioral health at St. Vincent. "When we realized that other hospitals were at their capacity level, St. Vincent did what it always does which is dive in, see what the problem is, see how we can help the community," said Koblentz.  A media representative with the Cleveland Clinic says they have 81 total geriatric psych beds across four facilities, one of which is in the city of Cleveland.

Psych beds are in short supply throughout Ohio, but Koblentz says the need is even more extreme for seniors who need special programming, trained staff, and tailored environments.

St. Vincent expects to serve Northeast Ohio primarily but will also take in older patients across the state to help relieve pressure on the system.

CORRECTION:  An earlier version of this story stated that the St. Vincent psych unit was the only one in the city of Cleveland to provide dedicated care to seniors needing inpatient psychiatry.  This is not accurate: Cleveland Clinic's Lutheran Hospital has 22 geriatric psych beds in their Cleveland facility.

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