May 28, 2020

Golisano Pediatric Behavioral Health and Wellness Building Virtual Opening Celebration Scheduled for June 18th

The new Golisano Pediatric Behavioral Health and Wellness Building at the University of Rochester Medical Center (URMC) will be opening soon! A virtual ribbon-cutting will be celebrated on June 18th and the building will open to patients by end of the month. The building is located near the intersection of South Avenue and Science Parkway, next to the Golisano Autism Center.

 Dr. Michael Scharf, Chief of Clinical Service, Child and Adolescent Psychiatry“We are all very excited for the opening, said Dr. Michael Scharf, Chief of Clinical Service, Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. “Behavioral health conditions impact one in five children and adolescents, leading to a variety of forms of suffering, impairment, and at times disability or life threatening situations. Currently only 20 percent of youth with these conditions ever see a mental health professional. Barriers to access, including service capacity, can lead to delays in care and situations worsening to crisis levels. The children and families of our region deserve better.”

“And now, thanks to the generosity of Tom Golisano and the Golisano Foundation, we are looking forward to taking a huge step forward in addressing the youth mental health crisis in our region and to serve as a national role model for responding to the crisis.”

The Golisano Pediatric Behavioral Health and Wellness Building will be the new home for ambulatory services, including crisis services,  individual therapies, group therapies, family therapies and trainings, and medication interventions, as well as Child and Adolescent Partial Hospital Service, providing multifaceted intensive interventions to youth in crisis.

This new space, designed specifically for delivering the highest quality, evidenced based, patient and family centered care in a new and beautiful environment will allow for expanding URMC’s ambulatory services by 25 percent (from 40,000 visits per year to 50,000 visits per year) and to increase the size of its partial hospital program by 50 percent (from 22 admitted youth at a time to 33).

The new building will also allow for the development of an intensive outpatient program — a level of care not currently available at all for youth in our region — and will serve as the home and regional hub for Children’s Mental Health training and innovation in behavioral health care and collaboration with Pediatric medical providers, schools, and community partners.

During the COVID-19 crisis, URMC clinicians have converted all ambulatory and partial hospital services to online, telehealth modalities, with limited onsite capacity when needed at its current sites.

Scharf said, “As this ribbon cutting and opening occur, services continue to operate at full capacity in terms of the number of visits, with the majority of our services continuing to be through telehealth for now. Our ambulatory service will start seeing some patients in this new space immediately, with volumes anticipated to increase over time as other aspects of our community and region “re-open.”

Partial Hospital will have capacity for onsite care as indicated also, but will return to full live program as distancing restrictions loosen and families and communities are ready for that level of group proximity.”

Scharf added, “While the COVID crisis and all of the resulting losses and challenges pose additional stress and mental health burden for youth and families, our clinicians and patients have discovered along the way just how effective providing behavioral health care through telehealth can be.”

“We have been able to stay open for business and maintain our full pre-covid volumes through telehealth, and even expanded our crisis services.  Our teams are already discussing how optimizing targeted, planful use of telehealth services can help overcome barriers to accessing behavioral health care for some families and to rethink how to maximize the use of clinical space.  We expect these lessons learned will not only enable us to proceed with our expansion of access to pediatric behavioral health services as planned immediately upon opening, but also to ultimately expand the size of these needed services in this new space even further than originally anticipated. ”

“Our goal, greatly advanced by the opening of this new building, is nothing short of ensuring every child in our region has access to quality behavioral health care when needed; and in so doing, to help every child reach their fullest potential.”

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