To meet the growing demand for behavioral health services, St. Luke’s University Health Network (SLUHN) has expanded its Quakertown Campus’s Adult Behavioral Health Unit by 13 beds.
The $6.4 milion project brings the unit’s bed count to 32. SLUHN said the network’s total inpatient adult behavioral health capacity is about 200 licensed beds spanning four campuses.
The expansion, celebrated with a ribbon cutting March 8, meets a growing need for inpatient mental health services in Bucks and Montgomery Counties, said Dennis Pfleiger, president of St. Luke’s Quakertown/Upper Bucks campuses. The unit is set to open March 15.
“The increase of 13 beds will allow for improved access to needed services across the county,” Pfleiger said.
Jody McCloud-Missmer, Network Behavioral Health Service Line administrator, said St. Luke’s has continued to see an increase in patients in its emergency rooms in need of crisis response from St. Luke’s Crisis Intervention Team.
“In addition, our Community Health Needs Assessment demonstrates that mental health is an important health focus for the surrounding area,” McCloud-Missmer said. “The additional bed capacity will help provide treatment to those with the most acute symptoms while remaining closer to home.”
The project included the demolition and renovation of the former medical-surgical and ICU areas located on the second floor of the Quakertown campus.
“The aesthetic design brings in an abundant amount of natural light and serene imaging within the spacious 16,400 square-foot layout,” said Christina Zelko Bennick, vice president, Network Inpatient Behavioral Health Services. “In addition, the new unit will feature state-of-the-art monitoring technology for both patient and staff safety.”
Dr. James James III, chair, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Health and the Division of Addiction and Recovery, said, “We recognize the significant mental health needs of the community are not adequately being met with current resources. As we work to improve people’s lives through early intervention and prevention the need for acute care beds remains high. This expansion is aimed at reducing wait times and expediting high quality care so that people can spend less time in the hospital and more time living their lives.”