Asante unveils new Behavioral Health Unit in Medford

The health care provider said that the new facility is the only one of its kind in a nine-county region of Oregon and California.

Posted: Jun 18, 2020 3:10 PM

MEDFORD, Ore. — Asante on Thursday announced the completion of its new Behavioral Health Unit at Rogue Regional Medical Center, heralded as the first in-patient mental health facility of its kind in the region.

In October of 2019, Asante had hoped to have the new unit ready by March.

“Improving how our patients receive care in our community has been a priority for us,” said Mick Zdeblick, senior vice president and CEO at Asante Rogue Regional Medical Center. “Completion of this project is the culmination of a master plan Asante has undertaken over the past five years to expand behavioral health services and transition how we care for our mental health patients.”

Asante said that the Behavioral Health Unit is part of a larger push toward effective mental health care, beginning with the adoption of a trauma-informed approach called The Sanctuary Model.

“Behavioral issues in adults are often traced to childhood trauma, such as physical or mental abuse,” said Laurel Madrone, manager of the new unit. “We focus on the root causes of the person’s issues — what’s happened to them — rather than asking what’s wrong with them.”

The health care provider also started a resiliency support program for hospital employees called Team CARE Response.

“A group of people who deal with highly traumatized patients can become traumatized,” Madrone said. “When you work with people who are injured, critically ill or in despair it starts to affect our staff members. The Team CARE program helps address their needs.”

On top of the new inpatient unit, Asante said that it has worked to expand outpatient behavioral health services with the hiring of specialists at primary care clinics, as well as a youth education program to help students cope with issues like anxiety and depression.

The original Behavioral Health Unit was built in 1972 based on now-outdated institutional models. The new unit is larger and offers common areas, a large outdoor area, and 24 rooms, "each with a garden view."

“What we offer now is an environment designed specifically for healing the mind, body and spirit,” Madrone said.

Asante said that the new unit cost $6.8 millon to build, most of that coming from the community.

“It’s profound to witness one of the most transformational mental health projects in our region come to life, and it’s because of philanthropy that this is possible,” said Andrea Reeder, Asante Foundation campaign director. “The new Behavioral Health Unit is a key component of this initiative and is making a profound impact on patients while addressing a critical need in Southern Oregon.” 

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