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Published: Monday, 2/17/2014


Merciful care

It isn't quite on par with ProMedica’s blockbuster program for moving 700 of its employees to the Toledo riverfront. Still, the plan Mercy will announce today to build a behavioral health institute on the campus of St. Charles Hospital in Oregon promises an important upgrade and expansion of mental-health and substance-abuse treatment services in northwest Ohio.

The 90-bed, $21 million center is slated to replace Mercy psychiatric facilities at St. Charles and at St. Vincent Medical Center in Toledo. Mercy executives say the consolidation will enable the company to broaden treatment options and take a better-coordinated approach to caring for mentally ill patients — their physical as well as their behavioral health.

“Behavioral health has tended not to get the same attention as acute care,” Andrea Price, Mercy’s president and chief executive officer, told Blade editors and reporters last week. “This institute will enable us to provide intensive outpatient treatment.”

The new center is scheduled to open early next year. Mercy’s affiliate, Catholic Health Partners, operates similar behavioral health institutes in Ohio and Kentucky. Staffing levels for the Oregon center are uncertain, but it would be especially useful if the facility eventually offered emergency psychiatric services.

Like the ProMedica move, the Mercy investment exemplifies the commitment to the community of northwest Ohio’s major health-care providers. All Toledoans, especially those affected by mental illness, will benefit from Mercy’s initiative.

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