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Adventist Health St. Helena to close inpatient mental health units

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Adventist Health St. Helena will shutter both its inpatient mental health unit and senior behavioral health unit on July 14, according to an Adventist Health press release dated Jan. 17. The units have a combined 34 beds: 21 in the mental health unit, and 13 in the behavioral health unit. Future plans for the space are in development.

The decision impacts 105 full-time, part-time and per-diem employees, Steven Herber, M.D., president, Adventist Health St. Helena, said in the announcement.

“We are eager to work with each staff member to place them in other positions within the hospital or in other Adventist Health facilities,” he said. “We are hopeful we can retain the staff.”

Herber said closing the units wasn’t an easy decision.

“Adventist Health spent considerable time and effort looking at multiple scenarios and it was determined that this was the best course of action,” he said. “Patients will have access to inpatient services at Adventist Health Vallejo. … This change better allocates specialized clinicians at a single location, which is ultimately more efficient.”

The news comes on the heels of the same facility closing its birthing unit on Jan. 11, a decision made because of low patient volume, Herber said in a Dec. 12 press release. The birthing unit’s shuttering affected 10 full-time and seven part-time employees, mostly in nursing.

Adventist Health Vallejo, a 61-bed mental health hospital, will absorb patients in need of mental health care going forward, according to the release. The facility offers adult, children and adolescent inpatient services, partial hospitalization and an intensive outpatient program.

Outpatient psychiatric services are available at Adventist Health’s clinic in Calistoga.

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