New Behavioral Health Units Open at Sanford Medical Center
Southern Maine Health Care (SMHC) and Maine Behavioral Healthcare (MBH) are opening two new behavioral health units at the Sanford Medical Center (former Goodall Hospital).
In addition, the Sanford Medical Center emergency department has expanded to include dedicated emergency psychiatric services and rooms (see photo above). This project significantly enhances and expands the scope of health services offered in Sanford and York County by creating emergency and inpatient access. This is expected to reduce wait times for patients who are seeking non-behavioral acute care in the Sanford emergency department as well as to provide more efficient care to those in need of behavioral health services.
The project includes relocating the existing 12-bed adult behavioral health care unit in Biddeford to Sanford and expanding the number of adult beds up to 40 across 2 floors. The project will generate more than 70 new jobs and provide critically needed bed capacity for York County adult patients who are experiencing short-term crises with common diagnoses such as psychosis, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, and co-occurring substance use disorders. It will provide stabilization for adults whose inpatient treatment needs can be met within a few days, after which individualized treatment plans will support transitions to appropriate levels of care in their community.
“We are excited to bring back inpatient care to the former Goodall Hospital campus, and proud to continue the tradition of caring for our community while re-invigorating this campus, creating new jobs and providing much-needed health services,” said Southern Maine Health Care President Nathan Howell. “We are fortunate to be in a position to leverage all of the advantages and value that Southern Maine Health Care, Maine Behavioral Healthcare and the MaineHealth system offer to benefit our patients in York County.”
This new inpatient service will be provided through the partnership between SMHC and MBH, who already offer many outpatient behavioral health services in York County such as counseling, Partial Hospital Program, Intensive Outpatient Services and substance use treatment, including Integrated Medication Assistance Treatment. These partnerships are being made possible, in part, by the strength of the recently unified MaineHealth system.
“The lack of short-stay beds in York County for patients with behavioral healthcare needs has resulted in unacceptable wait periods for these patients who desperately require care,” said Robert McCarley, M.D., a psychiatrist and vice president of Medical Affairs at MBH. “These patients often present at emergency departments, where they may wait days for an available bed, This is not conducive to their own health care needs, and the process often causes a domino-effect of delays for other patients requiring emergency health services, as well.”
Behavioral health cases have increased 20 percent at SMHC’s two emergency rooms over the last two years.