01/29/19 – Behavioral health pavilion moves forward

Posted on: January 30th, 2019 by admin


January 29, 2019


By Kara Fohner

kfohner@newstopicnews.comBy Guy Lucas


Although Caldwell UNC Health Care officials held a ceremonial groundbreaking on Monday for the hospital’s new behavioral health pavilion, construction probably will not begin until at least April, hospital officials said.

Jim Smith, director of facilities services, said that there is work to do before construction workers can even demolish the Jonas House, a historic house next to the hospital that stands where the new facility will be built. The house previously belonged to Bly and A.G. Jonas Sr. Bly Jonas’ estate donated the house to the hospital after her death in April 2008.


Workers must set up environmental silt fencing and create retention ponds to keep muddy stormwater from running off of the site.


That work probably will begin in March, weather permitting, and demolition is expected to begin in April.


Laura Easton, president and chief executive officer of Caldwell UNC Health Care, said Monday that the approximately $10 million facility, which will have 27 inpatient beds for people needing psychiatric care, would not be possible without the generosity of the Caldwell County community. She also thanked state Rep. Destin Hall, R-Caldwell, who worked with other elected officials to help secure $4 million in state funding for the facility.


“He is really the spark that helped us get this ignited,” Easton said.


Easton also highlighted a $500,000 North Carolina Rural Hope Grant from the N.C. Department of Commerce that will help pay for it.


Additional contributions will come from the Caldwell Hospital Foundation and the Cannon Foundation.


Rick Coffey, president of the board of directors for the Caldwell Memorial Hospital Foundation, said that hospital officials recognized the need for the facility because there is not one licensed, practicing psychiatrist in Caldwell County, and local residents were traveling far, sometimes out of the region entirely, for mental health care. He said that often, 30 percent of the patients in the hospital’s emergency room are being treated for behavioral health issues.


Easton also thanked the Jonas family for their continued support. The new facility will be named “The Jonas Hill Hospital and Clinic” in the family’s honor.


The facility is targeted to open in the spring of 2020, said Alicia Stanislaw, service line director of psychiatry, women and children.

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