Warrenton facility to care for residents in mental health crisis

WARRENTON, Ore. – An innovative community collaborative has plans to solve a long-standing health issue in the North Coast area: -- respite care for individuals experiencing a behavioral health crisis. The group plans to open a new 16-bed facility in Warrenton that will care for people in crisis situations, instead of using space in local hospital emergency departments or transporting patients out of the area.

The collaboration of community health providers includes: Sumuer Watkins, Clatsop Behavioral Health; Scott Somers, Clatsop County; Erik Thorsen, Columbia Memorial Hospital; Michael Blauer and Bonnie Thompson, Providence Seaside Hospital; and Leslie Ford, Columbia Pacific Coordinated Care Organization and Greater Oregon Behavioral Health, Inc. (GOBHI). The team brainstormed ideas on how to solve the problem and realized that no one partner could do so on its own. The team is now pulling together resources and funding to purchase a building in Warrenton that can be converted into a respite care facility for those having a behavioral or mental health emergency – such as extreme anxiety, depression, and mental disorientation or suicidal thoughts.

 “To date, GOBHI has purchased the building and Providence Health & Services has contributed more than $70,000 for equipment at the new facility,” said Leslie Ford, director of clinical innovation at GOBHI. “We look forward to our other community partners contributing as much as they can to fill this important need.” If anyone would like to make a tax-deductible financial contribution to the project, please contact Tonja Hodgkinson of GOBHI at 541-298-2101.

The center, which has yet to be named, is expected to be open in early spring 2015. It will accept
walk-in patients from Clatsop, Columbia and Tillamook counties, as well as referrals from local police departments, hospitals and medical clinics. The new center will accept Oregon Health Plan members and many other insurance plans. It will be located at 326 SE Marlin Ave.nue, Warrenton.

 “There is a huge need in the region for a center like this,” said Chief Jason Schermerhorn, Cannon Beach Police Department. “Trying to care for those in a behavioral health crisis can really tie up police and medical resources, which in turn can create other problems in our community.”

 “I am so thankful for the concerted effort that has gone into creating a respite care center for Clatsop County” adds Sheriff Tom Bergin, Clatsop County Sheriff’s Office. “The need is immense and the opportunity is welcomed with open arms.”

About Greater Oregon Behavioral Health

Greater Oregon Behavioral Health, Inc., (GOBHI) provides community mental health programs in Baker, Clatsop, Columbia, Douglas, Gilliam, Grant, Harney, Lake, Malheur, Morrow, Sherman, Tillamook, Umatilla, Union, Wallowa and Wheeler counties. GOBHI is dedicated to the health care needs of rural Oregonians with the triple aim of better care, better health and lower costs by promoting wellness and focusing on the power of preventative and local care in partnership with Coordinated Care Organizations, including Columbia Pacific Coordinated Care Organization.

About Columbia Pacific Coordinated Care Organization

Established in September 2012, Columbia Pacific CCO coordinates health services for more than 25,000 Oregon Health Plan members in Columbia, Clatsop, Tillamook and coastal Douglas counties (Reedsport).

News source: