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      New geriatric psychiatric unit coming to McDonough District Hospital

      Itâ??s expect to be open July, 1st 2015

      A new addition is coming to McDonough District Hospital. It's a three story facility on the west-side of the hospital's main building.

      It will house a new psychiatric unit to provide mental health services to elderly patients.

      "The Geriatric Psych Unit is on the second floor of this three story addition, John Maguire, public relations and fund development leader for the McDonough District Hospital said. It will serve 12 inpatients."

      The hospital's emergency services will be moved to the first floor of this new addition. And on the third floor will be the rehabilitation center.

      This unit will treat a wide range of mental health issues.

      "Older people in this particular case who might be suffering from depression, Maguire said. Who might be in need of an opportunity to be stabilized so they can return to their own home environment."

      It's a service that's been needed in the area for quite a while.

      "They don't want to go too far from home either, Maggie Brooks, director of operations for North Central Behavior Health Systems southern offices said. So it's nice to have that service available to us here locally."

      This project began when hospital officials asked organizations such as North Central Behavior Health Systems about which services need to be improved.

      "They had asked for our support in the project, Brooks said. And I know that they also had talked with other people that had said some things about it. And they did a study to see if it was feasible in the area."

      Organizations such as North Central Behavior Health Systems will finally have a place to recommend elderly patients for more extensive mental health care.

      Hospital representatives and officials believe this addition will finally give elderly residents the care they need.

      "We hope in providing this, we TMll be able to better serve our immediate community, Maguire said. "The overall expansion project is more than 33 million dollars. The Geriatric Psych portion is a little more than 3.2 million for construction and the operation."

      McDonough District Hospital officials project the new unit will be open July 1, 2015.