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CGH Medical Center Gains CON Approval for New 10-Bed Behavioral Health Unit

Hospital news | Thursday, December 12, 2019

Contact: Dana McCoy

CGH Medical Center is one step closer to providing an inpatient behavioral health/psychiatry unit after receiving Certificate of Need (CON) approval from the Illinois Health Facilities and Services Review Board. Certificate of Need (CON) programs are aimed at controlling health care costs by restricting duplicative services, determining whether new capital expenditures meet a community need, and facilitating coordinated planning of facility construction.

“We are very pleased with the state’s endorsement of the need for this new unit,” said Dr. Paul Steinke, CGH President and CEO. “This moves us closer to addressing a critical need in our community to better serve behavioral health patients.”

The 10-bed unit, which will be a combination of private and semi-private rooms, will be located on the 2nd floor of the south wing of the hospital. Plans for the unit also include an inpatient detox room on the Medical floor, expansion of the Telepsychiatry program (which is already in place), as well as other area partnerships to support a full-time psychiatrist.

The unit will serve a broad range of patients, including those who suffer from chronic mental health disorders, and those who may have more acute needs such as mood or anxiety disorders, suicidal/homicidal thoughts, or psychotic episodes.

“I am thrilled that CGH Medical Center has been given the Certificate of Need for its Behavioral Health Unit,” said Skip Lee, City of Sterling mayor. “For too long those in mental health crises in the City of Sterling have had very limited options for care which would provide long term solutions and family support. I commend the Board and staff of CGH Medical Center for taking on this challenge for the betterment of our community. This unit will serve as a valuable addition to the services currently available and provide much needed support to our first responders as they continue to keep our citizens safe.”

“The Whiteside County Community Health Plan indicated that mental health admissions were the most needed service that CGH was currently unable to provide,” said Kristie Geil, VP and Chief Nursing Officer. “Following the 2012 closure of several area mental health facilities, we found that we would have to make transfer requests to 30-35 mental health facilities for each patient. Because there is little to no room in each facility, some patients would then be held in observation for 3 to 20 days while waiting for placement. Over half of these patients were then transferred to a facility that was more than 50 miles away from the area. This is obviously very hard for the patient and their family. Our goal is to get these patients the care they need, closer to home, and closer to family.”

Preliminary plans include opening the new behavioral health unit at CGH near the end of 2020.

Pictured above: CGH Medical Center and community leaders who attended the Certificate of Need Hearing included: (back row, L-R): Ben Schaab – VP and Chief Financial Officer at CGH Medical Center; Diana Verhulst – Executive Director at the United Way of Whiteside County; Patrick Phelan – President/CEO of Sinnissippi Centers; Dr. Paul Steinke – President/CEO of CGH Medical Center; Skip Lee – Mayor of Sterling; Tim Morgan – Sterling Chief of Police; John Booker – Whiteside County Sheriff and (front row, L-R): Cindy Zander – VP Support Services at CGH Medical Center; Sarah Alvarez-Brown – CGH Emergency Department Director; Beth Fiorini – Retired Whiteside County Health Department Administrator; Tammy Nelson – Rock Falls Chief of Police; and Kristie Geil – VP and Chief Nursing Officer at CGH Medical Center.