Lancaster General Health broke ground in early May on the 126-bed Lancaster Behavioral Health Hospital, which will offer a broad array of unique inpatient and outpatient services in South Central Pennsylvania.
The new hospital, located in Lancaster City and near Lancaster General Hospital, is expected to open in summer 2018. LG Health will operate the hospital in partnership with Universal Health Services.
Kathleen Dougherty, M.D., Medical Director, Behavioral Health, LG Health; Tracey Lavallias, Executive Director, Behavioral Health, LG Health; Stacey Youcis, Senior Vice President of Service Lines and Population Health, LG Health; Debbie Osteen, UHS Executive Vice President and President Behavioral Health Division; Ralph Muller, Chief Executive Officer, University of Pennsylvania Health System; Jan Bergen, President & Chief Executive Officer, LG Health
LG Health President & CEO Jan Bergen told attendees at a May 8 groundbreaking ceremony that the hospital will play a vital role in addressing the region’s growing demand for behavioral health services.
Behavioral health is a complex issue that touches nearly everyone, she said. LGH’s 36-bed mental health unit is routinely full, and patients must be referred outside Lancaster County for treatment.
“An exciting road lies ahead,” Bergen said. “I look forward to watching the hospital grow from a strong foundation and joining you all again next year, when this vital community resource opens for its first patient.”
The Lancaster Behavioral Health Hospital will offer several services unique to the region, including Lancaster County’s only unit for adolescents; a psych-med unit for medically complex patients; a dual-diagnosis unit for patients who also have a substance-abuse disorder; and a women’s trauma unit.
Additional services will include partial hospitalization (day treatment), as well as intensive outpatient programs for both adolescents and adults.
LG Health’s partner, King of Prussia-based Universal Health Services, operates more than 240 acute-care hospitals, behavioral health facilities and ambulatory centers in the United States and abroad.
Debbie Osteen, UHS Executive Vice President and President of the Behavioral Health Division, spoke of the importance of offering access to high-quality, compassionate behavioral health treatment in the communities where patients live and work.
“Today we celebrate the beginning of a new chapter in behavioral health treatment for Lancaster and the surrounding region,” she said. “We have the opportunity to join together to make a lasting difference, and I am looking forward to our future together.”
Local patient advocate Jerri Anne Johnson shared her own experience, illustrating the critical need for family support during treatment. She encouraged groundbreaking attendees to continue working to reduce the stigma surrounding mental illness, which can be a deterrent to seeking treatment.
“The need for a hospital dedicated to offering a broad range of mental-health services in Lancaster County is abundantly clear,” she said. “We are so fortunate to have the depth and breadth of services and providers available – and the opportunity to set the standard for other communities across the country.”