Mercy in Dubuque to open Psychiatric Unit - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Mercy in Dubuque to open Psychiatric Unit

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DUBUQUE (KWWL) -- A new Psychiatric Unit is opening its doors at Mercy Medical center in Dubuque. The unit is holding and open house on Sunday, November 22, 2009 from 1-4 p.m.  The unit is located on the second flood of Mercy, 250 Mercy Drive. Visitors will have the opportunity to tour the unit, visit with staff, enjoy refreshments, and register for prizes. While the unit remains on the second floor of the hospital, it is now housed in another wing in totally renovated space.

“At a time when other hospitals in Iowa and across the country are shutting down their inpatient psychiatric services and leaving communities without the service, we are investing in ours, keeping it available for the entire region and making it an outstanding facility. Comprehensive inpatient care is vitally important for our community, and this is truly a first-class inpatient psychiatric program," said Russell M. Knight, President and CEO of Mercy Medical Center.

The new unit offers a new environment.  Large windows let in natural light and a virtual aquarium provides relaxation. Furnishings and wall colors in warm tones create a sense of home.

“There is a direct link between how a healthcare facility looks and the emotional attitude of the patient. Improved patient attitude leads to improved patient outcomes," said Clinical Director Sally Roy-Boynton.

Also included in the new unit, a central nurses station separates the adult and adolescent wings.  This will allow staff to serve patients’ needs with increased efficiency and observation. In addition, a state-of-the-art call light system, motion sensor, and capability for video presence will all add to the safety, security, and advanced technology of the unit.

A newly build bridge will connect the unit to the second floor of the Professional Arts Plaza . This is where Medical Associates and Hillcrest outpatient psychiatric services are located and will allow psychiatrists to be more immediately available to inpatients.

“This program is a regional resource much as our cardiac program is a regional resource,” said Knight.

Online reporter: Lauren Squires

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