Horizons – Summer 2020

A publication for friends and supporters of McLean Hospital

September 5, 2020

Our last edition of Horizons came out just as coronavirus was becoming a household word. In the months since then, we have all worked hard to keep each other safe and healthy. Today, McLean is engaged in recovery planning with an ongoing focus on prioritizing the safety of our patients, staff, and community. We are also seeing the anticipated surge in need for mental health resources as the emotional and psychiatric toll of the virus makes itself known.

We share stories of McLean’s collaborations with community-based organizations, investments in technology, focus on the unique needs of women and girls, and support for our own workforce, which has experienced unprecedented stress and strain in responding to COVID-19.

In all of these stories, philanthropy has been critical to our ability to plan, aspire, and implement new and better ways of delivering our mission.

Bank of America Gift Will Help Transform the Lives of Justice-Involved Youth
In some urban areas, the incidence of post-traumatic stress disorder among young people rivals that of the military. Add to this the fact that a sizable percentage of people incarcerated in American prisons have untreated mental illness. With this in mind, McLean is bringing its expertise in cognitive behavior therapy (CBT)—a gold standard treatment for depression, anxiety, and trauma—to reduce violence risk factors in young people.

Cover of Horizons Summer 2020

Women’s Mental Health Fellowship Provides Unparalleled Opportunity
Ashley Beaulieu, DO, is the third recipient of McLean’s innovative year-long fellowship in women’s mental health. For Beaulieu and her predecessors, this exceptional experience offered a fascinating 12 months of learning, with exposure to female patients coping with a range of diagnoses in every type of setting—from inpatient to residential to outpatient. The fellowship, said Beaulieu, has only reinforced her passion and the trajectory of her career.

Technology Promises to Revolutionize Diagnosis, Treatment, and Outreach at McLean
Since the dawn of psychiatry, clinicians have depended primarily on two things to diagnose and treat illness: what they can observe from face-to-face interactions with patients and what patients choose to share of their own experiences. These are fairly crude tools compared to those of other medical specialties. “We are at a point where progress in neuroscience is converging with rapidly evolving ways to deploy technologies to enable the capture of vital data on the brain and behavior,” said McLean President and Psychiatrist in Chief Scott L. Rauch, MD.

McLean Shifts to Telemedicine to Maintain Patient Care
In just a few short weeks in March, McLean transformed itself from a hospital that depends on face-to-face encounters and shoulder-to-shoulder group interactions to one that can deliver treatment via patients’ computer screens. “Pre-pandemic, I would estimate that less than 5% of our care involved telehealth,” said Chief Information Officer Kara Backman. “Today, we’re depending on telehealth at all levels of care and for every illness we treat. Because of this rapid and effective shift, programs across the hospital have been able to continue and, in some cases, extend care during the pandemic.”

Donors Support McLean Staff Through COVID-19 Emergency Fund
There are dozens of signs flanking the roads and sidewalks across the McLean campus. Their messages include personal expressions of gratitude and encouragement from donors, patients, and hospital leadership for the counselors, nurses, food service workers, maintenance staff, doctors, and countless others who have enabled the hospital to continue fulfilling its mission during one of the most challenging periods in its 200-year-plus history.

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