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Adventist Health St. Helena expands hospital mental health services


Mental health patients will have access to more hospital services in the Napa Valley region, thanks to an expansion at Adventist Health St. Helena. In addition to its current 21-bed mental health unit, the hospital is opening a 10-bed behavioral medical health unit, the only one of its kind in Northern California, to care for patients who have both physical and mental health conditions.

“We’re grateful for this opportunity to expand this important service for our community,” says Dr. Steven Herber, Adventist Health St. Helena president.

The new behavioral medical health unit will use a collaborative approach with a multidisciplinary team of physicians, psychiatrists, nurses and other staff to provide personalized care for each patient, said Dr. Timothy Lyons, Adventist Health St. Helena medical officer.

Behavioral medical health units are rarely found in hospitals, Lyons said. “In most general acute care hospitals, patients with both medical and psychiatric conditions are receiving care in the same units as medical and surgical patients,” he said. “Helping patients who have significant medical and mental illnesses is a challenge. The behavioral medical health unit is designed to treat the complex needs of psychiatric patients with medical conditions that cannot be treated safely on a typical psychiatric or medical unit.”

The behavioral medical health unit, which fills space that previously was utilized for geriatrics care, is expected to open in mid-October.