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February 14, 2022

St. Joseph Medical Center Opens Dedicated Area for Behavioral and Mental Health Patients

As part of its $92 million renovation project, St. Joseph Medical Center recently opened the doors to its new state-of-the-art behavioral health emergency rooms. The latest addition is dedicated specifically to the care of behavioral and mental health patients. Featuring eight psychiatric safe rooms within the hospital’s main emergency department, it separates behavioral patients from medical ones, putting them on the fast track for specialized psychiatric services.

"Grouping these patients with the patient population seeking medical services in our emergency room was not ideal and sometimes became loud and intrusive," said Lars Thestrup, MD, Medical Director for St. Joseph Medical Center Emergency Services. "Setting these specific rooms aside for behavioral and mental health patients allows us to provide better care in a quieter and more appropriate environment."

As St. Joseph Medical Center continues to see an increase in patients requiring behavioral and mental health services, it identified a significant need to provide these separate spaces not only for the patients but also for the practitioners who treat them.

"Behavioral and mental health patients have vast and often complex needs. Our new space will allow staff to provide more focused, individualized care to these patients in a safe, comfortable environment," said Dr. Thestrup. "Our new behavioral space helps us continue to make patient, visitor, and staff safety a priority."

The behavioral health expansion in the emergency department is the latest of St. Joseph Medical Center's efforts to provide excellent care to the diverse community it serves. The behavioral health emergency rooms will open later this month.