Another Psychiatric Unit Closed

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

St. Joseph's Hospital has announced plans to close its geriatric psychiatry center at the end of September because of problems recruiting physicians.

Patsy Hardy is St. Joseph's chief executive officer. She says the hospital has tried for three years to recruit additional geriatric psychiatrists but has not been successful. Physician recruitment problems also resulted in the closure of the hospital's inpatient adult psychiatric center in 2003.

Hospital spokeswoman Jill Parsons says the unit is not closing down for financial reasons. Parsons says it has been very successful and making money.

The Generations Unit for geriatric patients opened in 2000 with nine beds and expanded to a 16-bed unit in 2003. Current inpatients will continue their stay at St. Joseph's until they are discharged.

St. Joseph's has notified the West Virginia Bureau of Behavioral Health, Department of Health and Human Resources and Health Care Authority of the closure.

Authority Chairwoman Sonia Chambers says she's concerned about the number of psychiatric services that St. Joseph's has closed. She says the authority is going to look at the issue closely.

(WTAP's Todd Baucher contributed to this story.)

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