Four new beds were added to McLean SouthEast’s (MSE) adult inpatient program on February 1, 2021. Program director of the adult psychiatric programs at MSE, Mark Longsjo, LICSW, the entire MSE clinical team, and South Shore families are welcoming this increased access to mental health care.
“We’re helping four more people, four more families,” said Longsjo. “We’re reaching more people at a time when they need us more than ever. The mental health epidemic is real, and the impact is very significant.”
Longsjo said that this additional care availability for adults is particularly important for people in southeastern Massachusetts, which includes Cape Cod and the islands. MSE gives patients and families access to McLean’s high-quality mental health care without traveling to the Boston area—travel that would be prohibitive for many patients.
“This expansion of our inpatient capacity is emblematic of McLean and Mass General Brigham’s commitment to enhancing access,” said Scott L. Rauch, MD, McLean Hospital’s president and psychiatrist in chief. “Moreover, our geographic growth in services, such as this effort at MSE, is an essential part of offering highest-quality care throughout eastern Massachusetts and beyond.”
Longsjo added that the breadth of mental health care offered at McLean SouthEast further enhances access for patients south of Boston. He explained that the MSE clinical staff specializes in having more than one area of expertise, capable of caring for patients with any type of mental health condition. This includes a well-trained nursing team, overseen by Darlyn M. Scott, MSN, RN-BC, nurse director of MSE’s adult psychiatric programs, and Linda M. Flaherty, RN, PMHCNS-BC, senior vice president of patient care services, who leads the nursing staff at all of McLean’s inpatient programs.
“McLean SouthEast has always been what we call a general adult psychiatry program,” said Longsjo. “We’re treating all kinds of different patients, a very eclectic mix. The way that our staff puts it all together is quite amazing.”
Expanding access to care has been a goal at McLean SouthEast since it opened with 15 adult beds in Plymouth in 1999. In 2004, ten adult beds were added to MSE when it moved its services to the Brockton VA Medical Center.
When MSE moved to its current location, Middleborough, in 2014, the adult unit grew to 30 beds. With the beds added this week, the adult unit now has 34 beds. And that number doesn’t include the 22 beds that are reserved for McLean SouthEast’s Adolescent Acute Residential Treatment Program, which cares for teens and young adults through age 19.
“Adding these beds gives us greater capacity and flexibility to treat more patients in the renovated space,” noted Michele L. Gougeon, MSS, MSc, McLean’s executive vice president and chief operating officer. “The relocation of some clinical offices allows for more efficient use of all the unit space.”
With Rich Silva, MSE’s operations manager, managing the project, it took a team effort to add these four invaluable beds. Andy Healy, director of Facilities, and his team turned office space into clinical space, Gougeon and her team ensured that all regulatory requirements were met, and the IS team, the admissions staff, and many others contributed to the effort.