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When it opened its doors in 1999, McLean SouthEast was a small, 15-bed inpatient unit for adults. Over the years, the facility has grown and evolved, and it is now a multifaceted mental health facility caring for 30 adult and 22 adolescent inpatients, 15 adult and 15 adolescent partial patients, and 12 OCD child and adolescent residential patients. In addition to providing high-quality mental health care, McLean SouthEast also offers a range of related services including training for school nurses, support for the Massachusetts Child Psychiatry Access Program (MCPAP), and more. Driving this growth has been a commitment to bringing comprehensive mental health services to the southeast region of Massachusetts.
To recognize all that McLean SouthEast has achieved, a group of staff members and McLean Hospital leaders gathered at the Middleborough facility for a 20th anniversary celebration. Held on Wednesday, February 13, 2019—20 years to the day since McLean SouthEast opened for business—the ceremony looked back at 20 years of service to the community and recognized the many individuals who have made the facility a success.
Remarking on the 20th anniversary, Mark Longsjo, LICSW program director of the McLean SouthEast adult inpatient and partial hospital programs, said, “We are proud to live and work in our communities here in southeastern Massachusetts. Twenty years later, we continue to share the mission of our hospital. We are working together to offer high-quality clinical services, excellent training and education, exciting opportunities for further research and development, and an increased awareness of the importance of deconstructing stigma.”
“Twenty years is quite an accomplishment,” said Rich Silva, operations manager at McLean SouthEast. Silva reported that “at the time we opened, there was only one psychiatric hospital serving the South Shore, but the region was growing by leaps and bounds.” He said that McLean SouthEast filled a void in mental health care for the region. “McLean has always tried to go where the patients are, and this was a perfect opportunity to come to an area that was undeserved and provide top notch behavioral health services,” he said.
Like Silva, Mark Picciotto, PhD, program director, McLean SouthEast Adolescent Services, said that the facility’s growth over the years has been tied directly to the growth of the region and the subsequent need for quality care. “The southeast of Massachusetts is a fast-growing area and a historically underserved area,” he said. “McLean, with its quality and name, is driving the need. People want to come to McLean, and our facility offers them a way to get McLean quality without traveling to Belmont.”
McLean SouthEast first opened in Plymouth in 1999, then moved to Brockton, where it expanded its operations. About five years ago, McLean SouthEast set up shop at its current location in Middleborough. Silva said that staff has grown from “around 20 when we started to more than 200 today.” He pointed out that many individuals have been with McLean SouthEast for years and years, including four who have been on staff for the full 20 years: Longsjo, administrative assistant Mary Ann Betts, mental health worker Heather Bent, and nurse Rada Spaic.
To recognize these individuals and to celebrate all that McLean SouthEast has achieved, the 20th anniversary event drew a number of McLean Hospital leaders. Joining the celebration were Kerry J. Ressler, MD, PhD, chief scientific officer and chief of the Center of Excellence in Depression and Anxiety Disorders, which McLean SouthEast is a part of, and Philip G. Levendusky, PhD, ABPP, senior vice president, Business Development and Communications, who led the launch of McLean SouthEast in 1999.