Health Care

UPMC Jameson, Horizon Add Outpatient Behavioral Health Programs

NEW CASTLE, Pa. – Outpatient services at UPMC Jameson and UPMC Horizon are being expanded to provide more behavioral health options in Lawrence and Mercer counties, the hospitals announced Tuesday.

The new services are modeled after “proven and effective” programs developed at UPMC’s Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic. Among the new services are a peer navigator program for patients with drug and alcohol addiction, a consultation and liaison program, expansion of the partial hospitalization program and the addition of therapists in primary care offices.

“To improve behavioral health treatment effectiveness, our care model keeps more patients at home and connected to family and support systems with maintained daily living patterns,” said Manish Sapra, M.D., associate chief of clinical affairs, network hospitals and affiliates for UPMC, in a release. “The model empowers patients with symptom management and strategies for more effective daily living and better health outcomes.”

UPMC officials will be creating new jobs at the two medical centers, the company said in a release, as the programs continue and expand. Employees at UPMC Jameson’s behavioral health center are expected to have the opportunity to be placed in similar positions within the UPMC system.

Since last year, the number of staffed beds at the New Castle hospital’s behavioral health unit has been cut in half, with the remaining beds averaging 50% capacity. The decline in volume, said UPMC Jameson President Doug Danko, resulted in the decision to close the inpatient unit.

“A large percentage of patients being served today by the inpatient unit are those who are repeatedly readmitted and will be better-served by the new, personalized outpatient treatment programs,” he said. “This is an opportunity to make progressive changes that are in the best interests of our patients and community. It’s also an opportunity to increase collaboration with our community service partners to deliver the right care for our patients in our region.”

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.