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(Kansas City, MO – March 22, 2018) –St. Joseph Medical Center will begin construction on a $1.6 million, 22-bed Senior Behavioral Health Center this week.

“The services our Senior Behavioral Health Center offers are in high demand. This new unit is in response to an important community need,” said Jodi Fincher, Administrator of St. Joseph Medical Center. “We are looking ahead, and as the baby boomer generation ages, the need for this service will grow. This unit will also complement our Senior Care Services program that includes senior friendly emergency rooms, a comprehensive senior inpatient program and Sister Margaret’s Senior Clinic.”

Construction on the unit, located within the walls of St. Joseph Medical Center, should be completed by the end of summer. In addition to rooms designed for the safety of geriatric patients, the Center will include the latest technology and equipment to better serve our patients, their families and the community.

According to Fincher, patients are expected to come from as far away as Eastern Kansas and Western Missouri. “Most have been diagnosed with mental health issues, including dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, depression, anxiety, grief reactions, confusion or thoughts of suicide. Many of these patients experience difficulty living on their own, with family, or in nursing facilities,” Fincher says.

The Senior Behavioral Health Center which will be a self-contained unit for patient safety, will feature dedicated clinical staff specially trained to understand the diverse and complex needs of the older patients they serve. The staff includes psychiatrists, internal medicine physicians, psychiatric nurses who also are experienced in caring for medical/surgical patients, social workers, and physical/occupational/recreational therapists.