Mental Health Beds Returning To Kingston, Expanding In Poughkeepsie
Mental Health beds are returning to Kingston and increasing in Poughkeepsie. Officials believe this "will benefit the entire region."
On Wednesday, Ulster County Executive Pat Ryan and the Westchester Medical Center Health Network announced plans to bring back mental health beds to Kingston.
Mental Health Beds Returning in Kingston, New York
Westchester Medical Center and Ryan have agreed to restore 20 mental health beds to the newly expanded and soon-to-open HealthAlliance Hospital on Mary’s Avenue in Kingston, New York.
The agreement must be approved by New York State.
"The agreement, if approved by New York State, will be the latest action by WMCHealth to advance its comprehensive plan to enhance behavioral and mental health services available in Ulster and Dutchess Counties – while preserving local access for patients and their families," officials stated in a press release.
Mental health bed services were transferred from Kington to Poughkeepsie's MidHudson Regional Hospital at the beginning of the COVID pandemic. This move was made to bolster resources and capacity for COVID-19-related care.
Officials note this made it much harder for Kington residents to access mental health care.
“During the pandemic, we saw suicides in Ulster County double and fatal opioid overdoses up 93%; now more than ever, we must guarantee that all residents have ample access to vital local mental health and addiction recovery services and come together to ensure our community is receiving the support it desperately needs and deserves,” Ulster County Executive Pat Ryan said. “I am so proud that our community came together and advocated tirelessly to ensure these services are available."
Mental Health Beds Expanding in Poughkeepsie, New York
Westchester Medical Center plans to also maintain all emergency access and outpatient mental health services in Kingston while also expanding inpatient behavioral health beds at WMCHealth’s MidHudson Regional Hospital in Poughkeepsie.
Westchester Medical will add 20 mental health treatment beds at MidHudson Regional Hospital, bringing the total of mental health beds in Poughkeepsie from 40 to 60.
Combined there will be 80 inpatient beds available for mental health services in Dutchess and Ulster counties from Westchester Medical center.
“This agreement is an investment in the Kingston community that will benefit the entire region and reflects our continued commitment to delivering the best behavioral health care,” WMCHealth Executive Vice President & Chief Strategy Officer Josh Ratner said. “This announcement is a testament to the collaboration with County Executive Ryan who was instrumental in both meeting the behavioral health needs of Ulster County and helping WMCHealth execute on its larger strategy that will enhance and expand treatment in the entire region.”