MEDFORD, Ore. — It’s been two years in the making, but the Asante Behavioral Health Unit has finally opened its doors. The health center says this new unit is the only of its kind in the area.
“I think it’s been there at least since the 70’s so it was time for this unit to move,” Asante Rogue Regional Medical Center CEO, Mick Zdeblick said.
Asante’s new Behavioral Health Unit is finished and ready for intake after five years of planning and two years since breaking ground. It’s being called the first of it’s kind due to its sanctuary status, the only Oregon hospital with that honor.
“The designation signifies, that we are working from a philosophy that recognizes the humanity, dignity and possibility and hope and recovery of mental health illness,” Asante Behavior Health Unit Resiliency Program Coordinator, Jennifer Nidalmia said.
Asante says the new $6.8 million facility will better help the community through expanded inpatient and outpatient services.
“It’s much more welcoming, very de stimulating for the patients and calming, I think it really helps with the therapeutic process with the patients, and most importantly increases our capacity to help mentally ill folks in our community,” Zdeblick said.
Asante showed us a new video of the unit including the four new, open spaces for socializing. On top of a new look, Asante says the unit will primarily address trauma and it’s root causes.
“It’s just that kind of shift of recognizing that people all come with their stories and we really want to meet them and individualize our approach to their care,” Nidalmia said.
The healthcare team says all of these changes have been made with the hope of better serving its nine-county area in southern Oregon and northern California. There is also a new program created for employees working with some of the traumatized patients to make sure their needs are also addressed.