New Medical Center To Provide Mental Health Care

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The newly built J. Kent McNew Family Medical Center in Annapolis will be a pivotal point in providing expanded access to mental health care for Maryland residents.

The goal of the medical center is to provide quality, comprehensive and integrated care in one location for those needing mental health help. Services provided at the new facility will include the following:

  • • Inpatient mental health care
  • • A psychiatric partial hospitalization program
  • • Intensive outpatient programs
  • • Residential and outpatient substance use services
  • • Referral and care coordination to community-based treatment and support services

Anne Arundel Medical Center mental health specialists — including therapists, counselors and providers — will eventually move to this campus in an effort to provide all-encompassing care.

The new 56,000-square-foot facility is designed with both safety and aesthetics in mind. The facility delivers an essence of light, calm and peace through the incorporation of natural light, calming art and soothing décor. The overall feel of the entire facility is one of tranquility and healing.

On January 21, the Anne Arundel County Council discussed numerous resolutions including Resolution 2-20. First introduced by Councilman Nathan Volke, the resolution called for suicide to be declared a public health crisis and requested that the Anne Arundel County Department of Health take appropriate action. The resolution was passed unanimously. This resolution served to bring awareness to the ever-increasing demands for mental health needs to be met within the county. With the addition of facilities like the new mental health hospital, more patients will receive the care they need.

The 16-bed facility offers private rooms with en-suite bathrooms providing comfort and privacy in a safe and well-monitored environment. Rooms overlook the courtyard and are flooded with natural light. Even the hallways are bright and open. There is a common area and several areas where families can visit with patients.

The courtyard can be utilized by patients with doctor’s approval and staff supervision. It will also be utilized for certain group sessions, enabling care to be provided in the fresh air and natural environment. Patients will be in group sessions the majority of the day with social workers, psychiatrists and therapists. While the inpatient beds are currently available for adult patients only, the intensive day program is approved for adolescents ages 13 to 17.

“As our inpatient care is becoming established, we are simultaneously and incredibly aware and focused on some of the additional gaps in mental health care for our community with intensive focus on our community’s youth as well as teen suicide prevention,” said Cindy Radovic, clinical director of inpatient mental health and emergency mental health for Anne Arundel Medical Center. “We have treasured partners at community, county and state levels to work together in closing these gaps.”

To be admitted to the facility, patients can be transferred through any Maryland emergency department or through a referring doctor, therapist or psychiatrist. The facility can currently support 16 adult individuals for inpatient care, and 12 adolescents and 22 adults for the day program.

Prior to six years ago, patients in acute mental health crisis were evaluated in the emergency department at Anne Arundel Medical Center. In the event that patients needed additional levels of care, available resources were either a great distance from Anne Arundel County, which put additional burdens on family, or the limited resources that were available could not keep up with the ever-increasing demands of mental health.

“Over the past six years, we have expanded mental health care in our county exponentially, and our goal and passion is certainly to continue our expansion to meet the mental health needs of all of our community,” Radovic said.

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