Top Unity Center for Behavioral Health Official Resigns

A leader at the Unity Center for Behavioral Health resigned.

Chris Farentinos, the mental health facility’s vice president is “leaving to pursue new opportunities,” according to an announcement obtained by The Lund Report.

Farentinos’ resignation comes months after an investigation into the Portland’s only psychiatric emergency center for people experiencing a mental health crisis. It found at least one patient death, sexual assaults, violence and other hazardous conditions. Critics attributed the violence to the Unity Center’s “living room” style emergency services unit that places patients experiencing a variety of mental health crises in one room full of recliner chairs.

The patient hazards put the center at risk of losing its certification and funding from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, but Unity retained its federal license after implementing a correction plan.

Farentinos “championed” the creation of the controversial model, according to the email.

Before heading Unity, Farentinos served as Legacy Health’s director of behavioral health services beginning in 2013.

Unity Center officials declined to comment on her departure. Farentinos and Unity Center President Trent Green did not respond to requests for comment. Green also serves as the president of Legacy Emanuel Medical Center.

 

“Chris has been an integral part of our leadership team and a tireless champion for the patients we serve since Unity Center opened its doors in January 2017,” the announcement said.

Farentinos’ last day as vice president will be Feb. 1. She will continue as an advisor on the Unity Center Board of Managers.

Farentinos’ departure adds to the center’s long list of vacant positions. As of Dec. 10, the center had 58 open positions, including 13 full-time nurse positions, 22 part-time nurse positions, and 6 on-call positions.

The center cares for an average of 98 patients each day.

You can reach Jessica Floum at [email protected].




 

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