News and Information

May 16, 2012

St. Joseph Medical Center Opens Remodeled Mental Health Unit

Franciscan Health System has consolidated its inpatient mental health programs in Federal Way and Tacoma, a transition that coincided with the May 14 opening of the remodeled psychiatric unit at St. Joseph Medical Center in Tacoma. The state-of-the-art unit has 23 patient beds.

"Opening our newly renovated unit has given us the opportunity to expand and enhance our services for our patients and their families," said Carla Trolia, director of mental health services at Franciscan.

Patients' family members can now be more thoroughly engaged from admission through discharge; occupational and recreational therapies are offered seven days a week; and social work support is provided every day. Patients are assured the highest quality care despite a shortage of psychiatrists and other mental health professionals in the region.

Franciscan has long been among the few providers of hospital-based, adult inpatient mental health care in the region at St. Francis Hospital in Federal Way and St. Joseph Medical Center. Adults voluntarily agree to be admitted for psychiatric evaluation and treatment that can last a few days or longer depending on their needs. Acute mental illnesses treated include depression and bi-polar disorder. Approximately 90 percent of patients are referred by hospital emergency departments. This referral process has not changed now that Franciscan's inpatient mental health services are provided exclusively at St. Joseph Medical Center.

St. Joseph, the largest hospital in the non-profit Franciscan Health System, has provided inpatient mental health services since the mid-1950s. St. Francis Hospital began providing similar care when it opened in May 1987.

Planning for the mental health program consolidation into one location has been underway since 2008. The remodeled psychiatric unit is on the 11th floor of the St. Joseph Medical Center Tower. It features large, private rooms; quiet space for comfortable dining and group therapy sessions; stunning views of Mount Rainier, Puget Sound and the Olympics; and compassionate, expert care.

Franciscan Health System is part of Catholic Health Initiatives, one of the largest non-profit health systems in the nation.

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