New ER Unit at Trumbull Regional Provides Immediate Care for Mental Health

WARREN, Ohio – With a new space dedicated to mental-health care, Trumbull Regional Medical Center and Coleman Health Services are providing service directly through the hospital’s emergency department.

Following a $1.63 million renovation, the space has been operating for about three months, said the hospital’s president, Krista McFadden. It is staffed by workers from the hospital, as well as from Coleman Health Services.

“It includes five psychiatric safe rooms, as well as a fast-track area with three patient rooms and a results waiting area aimed at expediting care through the emergency department,” she said at a ribbon cutting for the space on Thursday. “All of these improvements were made with patient satisfaction and experience in mind.”

Rather than waiting to be admitted with the patients seeking trauma care in the ER, those coming in with mental health concerns immediately meet with staff who specialize in psychiatric care. As Dr. Muhammad Momen points out, the care needed when someone is having a heart attack is vastly different than needing care for anxiety or more serious mental health concerns.

“Around people with trauma concerns, they may not get the right care they need,” said Trumbull Regional’s medical director of psychiatric services. “When they’re diverted from the emergency room to this area, right away they start getting specialized care.”

Inside, the behavioral health unit features five exam rooms, two of which are set up to accommodate patients who are violent or at high risk for self-harm. In these rooms, the walls are bare except for a TV behind a barrier of safety glass, the beds have plastic linings that are bolted to the floor and the doors can only be opened from the outside. 

“We choose the most concerning patients for in-patient care and bring them in. The other five may be in line or in the testing site. This area is for the most serious patients,” Momen said.

The area has been “extremely busy” since it opened, he continues, with more patients than there are rooms a common occurrence. In such events, patients may be seen in the fast-track just outside the unit or, if they’re adults, to one of the two in-patient units at Trumbull Regional.

“Those are good services already in place. Here, I believe that people of Trumbull County will understand that we’re providing specialized care,” Momen said. “Over the past two months, all our units are completely full without a break. If our team discharges 10 patients, 10 more come in in the next 24 hours.” 

But, emphasizes Coleman Health Services’ director of access services Katie Cretella, the unit is open to all patients seeking care for their mental health.

“We’re here 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. We see anybody who has mental health concerns, ranging from depression and anxiety to psychosis and suicidal thoughts or even just someone who’s looking for resources,” she said.

Having a unit in a highly visible medical center, she continued, also increases access for Trumbull County residents.

“People don’t have to worry about scheduling appointments. Maybe they only have access to transportation for certain times of the day. We can see anyone at any time of day and provide them with immediate services. We don’t have to worry about finding an office, figuring out how to get there, how to check in,” she said. “Here, you just come in and meet with a Coleman professional.”

Pictured: At the ribbon cutting for the new behavioral health unit in the emergency department at Trumbull Regional are hospital president Krista McFadden, emergency department medical director Dr. Robert Moosally, director of emergency services Dale Bungard, Dr. Muhammad Momen, medical director of psychiatric services, director of behavioral health services Marsha LaPolla and attending physician Dr. Sarah Momen.

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