CLINTON, Md. — MedStar Health is set to open a state-of-the-art behavioral health facility at MedStar Southern Maryland Hospital Center in Prince George’s County after a ribbon-cutting at the new unit with federal, state, and local representatives. The $7.6 million projects are supported in part by federal and state funding to address growing behavioral health challenges across the region.

Credit: MedStar Health

The 13,000-square-foot renovated floor of the hospital’s 4-East unit features four new treatment areas, a dedicated examination space, a quiet room, and a new facility to conduct administrative hearings as patients receive care. The project’s overall goals include enhancing the quality of behavioral health care, improving patient outcomes, minimizing readmissions, and protecting associate and patient safety. Each year, an average of 2,400 patients visit the hospital for behavioral health issues.

“Meeting our goals for the new unit starts with providing our behavioral health patients with the best therapeutic experience possible,” said Stephen T. Michaels, MD, president of MedStar Southern Maryland Hospital Center. “The new tools and upgrades we’ve incorporated into our clinic are designed to help patients recover physically, mentally, and emotionally during what is likely one of the most stressful moments of their lives.”

Today, Dr. Michaels was joined by U.S. Representative Steny Hoyer (MD-05), Prince George’s County Executive Angela Alsobrooks, and Maryland State Senator Michael A. Jackson, among other community and MedStar Health leaders at a ribbon-cutting held for the new-and-improved unit.

Rep. Hoyer helped secure federal funding for the project through the FY2022 Omnibus Appropriations Bill passed in March. The Maryland Hospital Association’s Bond Project also awarded the hospital a $840,000 grant, which was included in state funding allocated during the 2021 legislative session.

“I appreciate the challenges that the COVID-19 pandemic has brought about for many who were already struggling with mental health and addiction disorders in Maryland and across the country. Strengthening resources for our community during this challenging time and into the future remains a critical priority,” said Congressman Hoyer. “I am so proud of the new MedStar Health behavioral unit in Prince George’s County that will strengthen access to essential health services and address our district’s increasing behavioral health needs. I was glad to secure $925,000 in federal funding for this project in the FY2022 Omnibus and know that this state-of-the-art facility will improve lives.”

“We are excited to open this behavioral health unit here in Prince George’s County,” said Prince George’s County Executive Angela Alsobrooks. “We know that mental health is a critical component of overall health and wellness, which is why expanding behavioral health services has been a critical component of our goal to build a continuum of care in our County. Prince Georgians deserve to have access to quality healthcare right here at home, and we want to thank MedStar Health for helping provide greater access to these much-needed healthcare services.”

“As someone who spent the majority of his professional career in the public safety field, I have an acute understanding of the importance of mental healthcare in relation to overall public health and safety,” said State Senator Michael A. Jackson. “Providing quality and accessible care for behavioral health needs is an absolutely essential public service. I’m incredibly grateful to MedStar Health for their leadership in ensuring these services in Prince George’s County and throughout all of Southern Maryland.”

MedStar Health’s significant investment in the renovations underscores the health system’s commitment to improving behavioral health for both patients and associates, especially as stressors amplified by the COVID-19 pandemic continue to impact daily life nationwide.

“When it comes to caring for people, protecting and improving the mental health and wellbeing of our patients and associates has always been a critical priority for MedStar Health,” said MedStar Health President and CEO Kenneth A. Samet.  “This important investment in Prince George’s County helps address the growing behavioral health needs that have escalated significantly over the past two years of the pandemic.  By committing to projects like the renovated unit at MedStar Southern Maryland Hospital Center and supporting other initiatives across our health system, we will be better able to serve our region for decades to come.”

Since 2012, MedStar Southern Maryland Hospital Center has invested more than $100 million into improving facilities, including the hospital’s recently opened Emergency Department and the MedStar Georgetown Cancer Institute in partnership with the Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center. The new behavioral health unit will officially open its doors to patients later this month.

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