Tom Golisano, namesake of UR Medicine’s Golisano Children’s Hospital, recently pledged $5 million to support construction of a new Pediatric Behavioral Health and Wellness Center, providing Greater Rochester a home base for child and adolescent behavioral health services.
The new building will serve as the primary outpatient location for the hospital’s Pediatric Behavioral Health and Wellness program, which treats children with depression, anxiety, psychosis, substance abuse, post-traumatic stress disorder and other behavioral and emotional conditions. It will be staffed by a multidisciplinary team that includes child psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers, mental health counselors and nurses.
“Rochester, like much of the country, has seen a serious dearth of services and providers in this area,” said Mark Taubman, CEO of University of Rochester Medical Center. “This gift will allow us to essentially double the space that we have to care for children with emotional or behavioral needs.”
“I am pleased to partner with URMC to build the new Golisano Pediatric Behavioral Health Center, which will address gaps in care and accommodate more clinical staff to help reduce the number of children on the waitlist for services,” Golisano said. “Now, when we talk about providing comprehensive care to children and their families, we can include expanded and enhanced behavioral health services. I’m confident that Golisano Children’s Hospital will become a leader in this field.”
The $10 million building, estimated at 30,000 square feet, will be located near the intersection of South Avenue and Science Parkway, next to the planned location of the Golisano Autism Center, a collaborative venture between Al Sigl Community of Agencies, AutismUp and CP Rochester. Construction on both buildings is expected to start in spring 2018, with completion of the Behavioral Health and Wellness Center slated for 2019.
The new building will introduce one new service for the Rochester region and expand two existing Pediatric Behavioral Health and Wellness services.
The new intensive outpatient service line will allow youth to receive a higher level of care than traditional outpatient services while staying home and attending their regular school.
An outpatient program will serve children and adolescents battling depression, anxiety, psychosis, substance abuse, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, PTSD, autism spectrum disorder and other conditions, including stress due to a medical illness, change in family situation or other adverse or traumatic events.
A partial hospitalization program will serve children ages 12-18 who require intensive services throughout the day, but are able to stay home with their families safely without constant medical observation. This program is the only adolescent partial hospitalization service in the state west of the Hudson River.
These services are designed to diagnose and address potential issues before they become major concerns, thus reducing the need for emergency department visits and inpatient services, both of which will remain located at URMC.
In response to growing demand for pediatric behavioral health services, URMC more than doubled its child psychiatry staffing in recent years, but facility space remained in short support. The new center addresses this need, and makes it possible for URMC to offer educational events for families and community agencies it partners with for pediatric care.
Michael Scharf, chief of the division of child and adolescent psychiatry, said he is excited to partner with his future neighbors in the Golisano Autism Center. Discussions have started on how the two groups — URMC and Al Sigl Family of Agencies — can collaborate to better serve youth, families and other community providers.
“Thanks to the generosity of Mr. Golisano, we anticipate this location will become the regional hub, both for providing comprehensive care and for educating families and other providers about how best to meet the needs of the children and families we serve,” Scharf said.
With the gift, Golisano has given nearly $41 million in support of the children’s hospital.