Leadership in Behavioral Health

Debbie Simon, UnityPoint Health

Since I made a pledge to invest in and enhance the behavioral health and addiction services available at UnityPoint Health, our commitment to being the regional leader in this area has not wavered. We have brought on new staff and new programs that will allow us to serve even more patients struggling with their mental health illness or addiction.

When what was then known as Methodist Hospital opened the area’s first inpatient psychiatric patient unit in 1954, it became the first hospital in downstate Illinois to provide such a service. We are committed to caring for the whole person—mind, body and spirit—for their whole life. Our recent expansions include programing for all ages, including special services for children/adolescents and adults.

Our position as a leader in the community requires commitment at all levels of our organization. As administrators, that includes appointing Angela Moore as Vice President of Behavioral Health and Addiction Services, a position created just this year. She will work with our steering committee to lead our continued expansion of behavioral health services in the years to come.

This year has seen the arrival of four new behavioral health and addiction providers in our network; three psychiatrists, each focused on either inpatient, outpatient or child/adolescent services; and a psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner. These new providers will significantly expand our ability to provide leading-edge care to those who need it.

On the Proctor campus, the Illinois Institute for Addiction Recovery is introducing Adolescent Outpatient Addiction, a new program designed to help fill the growing need for adolescent addiction services in central Illinois. By taking this step, the IIAR is leading the way in combining mental health and addiction recovery care for adolescents in an outpatient setting. Services became available August 1, 2017. Patients or family members seeking more information may call (309) 691-1055.

UnityPoint Health has also completed nearly $500,000 in renovations to several key behavioral health and addiction facilities. Behavioral health inpatient rooms and the Behavioral Health Emergency Intake Center on the campus of UnityPoint Health – Methodist are being renovated and upgraded, providing a more calming environment for individuals seeking care. Additionally, outpatient facilities at the Illinois Institute for Addiction Recovery are being updated to assist clinicians in providing the best possible care.

Our reach is now extending farther than ever. UnityPoint Health is expanding behavioral health care services to the Interstate-80 region with the addition of telehealth services at Perry Memorial Hospital in Princeton. Through state-of-the-art virtual technology, UnityPoint Health clinicians are providing behavioral health consults to patients in the Perry Memorial Hospital Emergency Department, filling a critical need for rural communities.

All of these changes relate to a singular goal of delivering behavioral health and addiction services in a different way—a better way. iBi

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