April 16, 2017

Editorial: An improved outlook for psychiatric services in Worcester

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No one facing a serious mental health problem in their family wants to hear that current facilities are full — they’ll have to go elsewhere.

A proposal announced last week involving UMass Memorial Health Care Inc. would make that scenario much less likely in Worcester.

If the agreement between UMass Memorial and New York-based US HealthVest LLC goes through, a 120-bed psychiatric hospital could open in early 2019. The facility would serve outpatients and inpatients of all ages, in a spacious existing office building at 100 Century Drive.

The location in the Burncoat neighborhood is convenient to the hospital system’s University and Memorial campuses. The psychiatric hospital would be about a 10-minute drive from each.

This deal is a welcome development — particularly in the wake of concerns expressed by some city leaders, health professionals and others in recent weeks over UMass Memorial’s plan to convert 13 of its 28 psychiatric beds at the University campus to medical/surgical beds.

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