Addressing Community Behavioral Health Needs

Lancaster General Health is laying the groundwork for addressing Lancaster County’s growing demand for inpatient and outpatient mental-health services, one of our community’s top health priorities.

At Lancaster General Hospital, the largest provider of acute-care mental-health services in the county, the facility’s 36 adult behavioral-health beds often are full, sometimes requiring patients to leave the area to receive inpatient care. And each year, an estimated 550 Lancaster County children and adolescents are admitted for inpatient treatment outside of the county.

excellence-in-behavioral-healthGroundbreaking is planned in 2017 for the new, 126-bed Lancaster Behavioral Health Hospital near Harrisburg Avenue in northwest Lancaster City. A rendering of the facility is pictured above. To be operated in partnership with Universal Health Services, the facility will feature Lancaster County’s only dedicated inpatient unit for adolescents, as well as a dedicated women’s trauma unit, for sexual-assault victims or women with a history of traumatic injuries because of domestic violence.

While it will more than triple the number of behavioral-health beds, the hospital will also offer day-treatment services for adolescent, dual-diagnosis, older-adult, and substance-abuse patients.

In addition to extensive expansion of inpatient and outpatient treatment programs, LG Health is enhancing care at all LG Health Physicians primary-care practices by adding counselors to provide early interventions for patients, and by collaborating with area behavioral-health providers. Once again, we demonstrate our commitment to prevention, proactive identification of issues and promoting wellness.

excellence-in-behavioral-healthBehavioral health needs are growing nationally. Locally, about one in four Lancaster County residents has some symptoms of depression.

“The significant demand for behavioral-health services in our community is outpacing the ability of current providers to meet that demand,” says Jan Bergen, president & CEO of Lancaster General Health. “Since identifying and planning our response to this pressing community health issue, we sought a partner with the resources and familiarity to operate a complex facility like this, consistent with our high standards.

“Our choice, Universal Health Services, is a nationally recognized organization with the depth and breadth of experience to enhance our community’s access to cost-effective, high-quality behavioral-health care.”

Headquartered in King of Prussia, Pa., UHS operates more than 240 acute-care hospitals, behavioral-health facilities and ambulatory centers in the U.S. and abroad. Eight of those facilities are located in Pennsylvania.

Tracey Lavallias, executive director of behavioral health at LG Health
Over the past three years, the company has invested more than $1 billion in its facilities. The new Lancaster hospital—a one-level building with six distinct nursing units and six enclosed courtyards—is budgeted at $30 million.

The 76,000-square foot hospital will advance LG Health’s charitable purposes and mission by providing services to the poor and indigent regardless of ability to pay.

The hospital will also play a role in continuing to revitalize Lancaster City’s Northwest Gateway, a former 75-acre, multi-purpose industrial site.