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On a quiet cul-de-sac nestled in the small town of Middleborough, Massachusetts, McLean Hospital has transformed a former nursing home into a cutting-edge psychiatric care facility.
The site is the new home to McLean SouthEast (MSE), the most comprehensive program serving adults, children and adolescents in southeastern Massachusetts. Not only is the building visually appealing, it is equipped with the latest safety features recommended for psychiatric hospitals by the Joint Commission, an independent, not-for-profit organization that accredits and certifies health care organizations and programs in the United States.
MSE moved from Brockton to Middleborough in January 2014 after extensive renovations were completed. The remodel allowed for in-depth input from the clinical teams on how the space could be modified to enhance the patient care experience.
“Having the ability to play such an active role in designing the physical makeup of the program gave us the opportunity to think more strategically about how we use the space and how we can maximize efficiency,” said Mark Longsjo, MSW, LICSW, program director for the MSE adult and partial hospital programs. “In addition, we also incorporated the latest safety features into the building, making MSE a truly state-of-the-art facility.”
One example of how the staff of MSE influenced the final design of the program is the open construction inside the Adolescent Residential Treatment (ART) program.
“Instead of the traditional nursing station with windows serving as a separator from the unit, we opted to go with an open model in order to facilitate more interaction and communication between our staff and patients,” explained Mark Picciotto, PhD, program director for the ART program at MSE. “We were very focused on creating an inclusive, warm and welcoming environment for patients, visitors and staff.”
In addition to the new safety features and the program-specific design, the size of the building has allowed MSE to expand its services.
“We spent an extensive amount of time searching for a building that would allow us to grow the program as we continue to meet the increasing need for mental health care in the southeast region,” said Richard Silva, provider relations manager for MSE. “This space is allowing us to achieve our mission of delivering services to a part of Massachusetts where there is a dearth of mental health care providers.”
Thanks to the new building and its modern renovations, MSE has been able to increase its adult inpatient program from 25 to 30 beds. In addition, MSE was able to expand its capabilities to accommodate more child, adolescent and adult partial hospital patients.
According to McLean’s Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Michele Gougeon, MSS, MSc, who spearheaded the move to Middleborough and oversaw the regulatory approvals and renovations, MSE is now a prototype for other programs.
“This is an exciting development for McLean, as it allows us to showcase our commitment to innovation and to setting standards for hospital programs,” said Gougeon. “The work completed at MSE will serve as a model for future renovations and program development throughout McLean.”