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CVPH to Open New Adult Inpatient Psychiatry Unit

The University of Vermont Health Network – Champlain Valley Physicians Hospital (CVPH) will open its new Adult Inpatient Psychiatric Unit to patients on Tuesday, June 21, setting a new standard for high quality, collaborative inpatient psychiatric care for the North Country. 

“This is a tremendous advancement in psychiatric care for our region. Together with our community partners and supported by state funding, our patients will have a spacious, welcoming environment in which to receive care – to learn and develop skills that will be useful to them in their lives beyond our walls. They can connect with community agencies that will support them.  In addition to meeting the acute care needs of our patients, we believe our new unit will support our efforts to reduce readmissions and visits to the Emergency Department by this patient population,” explained CVPH Chief Nursing Officer Carrie Howard Canning.

Located on the sixth floor of the hospital’s main building, the 19,000 square foot unit is nearly 3 times the size of previous 4th floor location.  Included are activity and group therapy spaces as well as comfort and exercise rooms. “It supports our commitment to providing our patients with the very best care,” said CVPH Director of Adult Psychiatry Ken Thayer. “And helps to create positive experiences for them and the team of professionals who provide that care.”

The new unit includes

  • 18 private patient rooms
  • Ample space for best practice service delivery including exercise and comfort rooms, group therapy and family meeting space
  • Staff breakrooms, lockers and shower.
  • Security measures including a more open design to improve visibility, staff safety alarm and double-doored entry way to improve flow onto the unit.

Assistant Medical Director of Psychiatry Aron Steward, Ph.D., MBA explains the new space is a reflection of the team’s commitment to recovery.  “We believe our patients can accomplish their goals and achieve recovery when given the opportunity to focus on developing coping skills for reducing their symptoms. We’re fortunate to have community partners who share that vision and they play a key role in fostering a smooth transition for our patients to the outpatient setting,” she said.

To support that effort, a dedicated space called The Medical Village has been integrated into the design and provides patients the opportunity to meet and connect with representatives from community agencies that will support every opportunity for their success when they return to the community. “In making these connections and beginning to plan for success after discharge, we believe we can reduce readmissions and visits to the ED,” Howard Canning added. 

“We’ve designed our new unit in partnership with several community providers, family members and peers whose partnership plays an integral role in supporting our goals to reduce the barriers, ease transition to community providers and promote recovery for adults in our community with mental health needs,” explained Rheta Recore, LMHC, Regional Psychiatry Transitional Care Program Manager. 

The project was funded by a $1.95 million grant awarded by New York State Department of Health and New York State Dormitory Authority in 2016 to assist hospitals in transforming health care and creating a seamless and integrative experience for our patients. That same year, the grant was coupled with a $5.2 million match from CVPH and the University of Vermont Health Network to ensure completion.