Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that the Greater Binghamton Health Center (GBHC) and Elmira Psychiatric Center will remain open to provide adults and childrens services to the local communities. Under a revised plan by the state Office of Mental Health (OMH), the State will expand community services including establishing a specialized, state-of-the-art Childrens Behavioral Health Center of Excellence for the Southern Tier at the GBHC.
Todays plan to keep the Greater Binghamton Health Center and Elmira Psychiatric Center open is the culmination of tireless efforts by state and local leaders, mental health advocates and the families of patients, Governor Cuomo said. Under this new plan, not only is the State keeping beds open for the adults and children who need them in the region, but we are also investing in expanded community services to provide better and more efficient care to patients. By continuing operation of these facilities, we are ensuring that patients do not have to travel far to receive the treatment they need and keeping two major regional employers in business. I commend all the stakeholders who came to the table to work together for the good of this community.
The previous plan by OMH called for closing 162 adult beds and 34 children beds in total for the two facilities.
Under the revised plan, the Greater Binghamton Health Center will maintain 16 children beds, and the Elmira Psychiatric Center will maintain 18 beds, for a total of 34 children beds. In addition, a Childrens Behavioral Health Center of Excellence for the Southern Tier will be established in the Childrens Building at GBHC. The facility will provide a full scope of childrens services including:
- Increased clinic capacity and access in targeted counties;
- A new Mobile Integration Team to respond to calls from schools, families, and pediatric services to provide assessment, consultation, first line treatment, and linkages to services;
- Expansion of tele-psychiatry to improve access in rural settings and provide comprehensive assessments to facilitate connection to the most appropriate level of care (such as forensic/violence assessments, juvenile sex offender evaluation, psychological assessment for educational services); and
- Evidenced based treatment services at all sites including dialectical behavioral therapy, cognitive behavior therapy, and multi-systemic therapy along with state-of-the-art family based interventions to improve outcomes and increase youths resiliency.
In addition, under this plan, the Greater Binghamton Health Center will maintain 60 adult beds and add 60 new community residential beds. The Elmira Psychiatric Center will maintain 48 adult beds and add 48 new community residential beds. The reduction of one adult ward at each facility will achieve $6 million in savings which will be reinvested for the combined 108 new residential beds with supported housing and family care, and other expanded adult services including:
- LA new Mobile Crisis and Support Team with first episode psychosis and peer support capacity to provide assessment, consultation, first line treatment, and linkages to services. In addition, this team will provide case management like services to individuals struggling to maintain community tenure;
- Increased clinic capacity and access in targeted counties; and
- Expanded tele-psychiatry to improve access in rural settings.
No further implementation of the Regional Centers of Excellence plan will take place until OMH, in consultation with community and mental health advocates, evaluates the effectiveness of the expanded community services on the need for inpatient beds.