7-13-2020 – Psychiatric hospital to open soon

Posted on: July 13th, 2020 by admin


July 10, 2020


By Kara Fohner

Jul 10, 2020 5:31 PM


Caldwell UNC Health Care’s new 27-bed psychiatric facility is scheduled to open on July 20, the culmination of years of planning the almost $10.1 million project.


Alicia Stanislaw, the service line director of psychiatry, women and children, said that the Jonas Hill Hospital and Clinic will have close to two dozen staff, including psychiatrists, fulfilling a need that the county has had for years.


There are 20 patient rooms. Seven will be shared and 13 private, Stanislaw said.


While there was a ceremonial groundbreaking in January 2019, construction truly started in March 2019.


Hospital officials wanted a place that was innovative in design, with natural light and state-of-the-art technology that will help keep patients safe, especially those who might want to harm themselves, Stanislaw said.


While they initially considered renovating part of the hospital to create a psychiatric unit, “it was smarter to start new than try to renovate something that was old,” Stanislaw said.


While the inpatient part is complete, starting in 2021 Jonas Hill will offer outpatient psychiatric services as well. Caldwell UNC Health Care will take a year to stabilize the inpatient operations and recruit a team to work in the outpatient clinic.


Last year, close to 1,100 people sought psychiatric care in the hospital’s emergency department. There are only a handful of places that offer mental health care in the area — RHA Health Services in Lenoir offers outpatient care and a crisis and detox facility.


“I’ve never known a psychiatrist to practice in Caldwell County that’s actually providing day-to-day care,” Stanislaw said.


Jonas Hill also has an spacious outdoor area with a meditative labyrinth circle and a basketball court, as well as seating, and the space will be used for outdoor recreational therapy and pet therapy, among other things.


Caldwell UNC Health Care has hired a psychiatrist and two other care providers, but also is contracting with Atrium Health, which has 15 other providers who may help, Stanislaw said.


Rooms are specially designed to be both safe and soothing — murals of mountainscapes by artist David Horn decorate walls, and some rooms have special features, such as a removable, magnetic, padded door for bathrooms that will help provide privacy but also can be used as a shield if a patient becomes aggressive.


There are censors above doors that will go off if a patient puts anything over the door, and there are no sharp edges where patients could cut themselves. Beds will have sheets, but they will not have elastic in them. At least one room where patients may congregate has glass walls that have technology in them that allows the glass to become opaque when activated, giving patients more privacy.


The nurses’ station is set up in an area where patients may approach, making the nurses more accessible, a design that is modern in comparison to the way psychiatric facilities used to be organized, Stanislaw said.


There is space for support groups to meet, as well as for staff to relax.


A high-tech security system has more than 65 cameras that monitor most of the building, except for patient rooms.


The grand opening will be July 17 at 12:15, and they hope to begin accepting patients July 20.

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