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For Immediate Release January 09, 2019

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Lisa Clough:

Today the University of Maryland Medical Center Midtown Campus debuted its new 24,000 square-foot adult inpatient behavioral health unit which will set a new standard for optimizing patient experience, safety and comfort in a state-of the-art environment that is required to provide such specialized care.

Addressing mental health needs is vital to improving the overall health of our city and the region,said Mohan Suntha, MD, MBA, President and CEO of the University of Maryland Medical Center. This new behavioral health unit allows us to consolidate comprehensive adult behavioral health services from across both our campuses, giving patients access to compassionate, world-class care by School of Medicine faculty, as they navigate their complex mental health challenges.

The University of Maryland Medical Center Midtown campus, today, demonstrates its long-standing commitment to fulfill our mission of service to our community,” said Alison Brown, President, University of Maryland Medical Center Midtown Campus. “Our team that expertly cares for some of the most vulnerable patients is looking forward to occupying this new unit that will significantly enhance our comprehensive approach to behavioral health care right here in Baltimore, and we are proud to be doing so.”

The newly-constructed unit is double the size of the old unit, featuring a significant increase in the number of patient beds – 37, an increase from the previous 28. The unit features all private rooms that are adorned with original, hand-painted murals from local artists made possible through a partnership with The Baltimore Office of Promotion & Arts (BOPA).

The new in-patient behavioral health unit provides comprehensive services to patients and is led by the team of faculty-psychiatrists from the University of Maryland School of Medicine.  Other clinicians include, nurses, social workers, occupational and recreational therapists, addiction counselors, pharmacists and clinical nurse educators.  The program is specifically designed to collaborate with and support people who are struggling with mental health issues regardless of where they are on their path to recovery.

With this unit we are setting a new standard of behavioral health care,” said Stephanie Knight, MD, FAPA, Assistant Professor of Psychiatry, University of Maryland School of Medicine and Chief of Psychiatry, UMMC Midtown Campus. “It is important that people with acute behavioral health disorders are in a place where they feel comfortable and safe in order to best receive and respond to care. Patients will benefit from the healing environment that this beautiful new unit represents and from the care provided by our multidisciplinary team of health care professionals who are highly trained and dedicated to the people we serve.”

Partnership with The Baltimore Office of Promotion & Arts provides unique opportunity for patients and families

In designing the new space, the UMMC Midtown Campus behavioral health team wanted something unique and appealing for patients and families. The partnership with The Baltimore Office of Promotion & Arts (BOPA) provided the opportunity to artists who had a special interest in behavioral health or experience in creating art for health, medical and wellness spaces.

“In keeping with our community focus, we are so pleased to have worked with local artists to create the beautiful walls in our patient rooms and common areas,” said Brown. “The warmth, serenity and thoughtfulness with which these murals were created brings a special feeling for both patients and families, and our entire care team.”

The Baltimore Office of Promotion & Arts knows that the arts play an important role in a community’s wellness, and factors into its ability to thrive. We are pleased to connect local artists to the UMMC Midtown Campus community and apply the principle that the arts have a healing effect on the viewer, to the common areas and patient rooms in this newly opened treatment facility. The murals placed throughout the new space create a rejuvenating and respectful environment that visually acknowledges and honors the diverse population served,” said Krista Green, Interim Cultural Affairs Director, BOPA.

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“This new unit addresses a vital need in our community,” said E. Albert Reece, MD, PhD, MBA, Executive Vice President for Medical Affairs, UM Baltimore, and the John Z. and Akiko K. Bowers Distinguished Professor, and Dean, University of Maryland School of Medicine.  Most importantly, it will enable leading School of Medicine faculty physicians in Psychiatry and Behavioral Health to engage directly with and treat some of our most vulnerable patients.”

A partial hospitalization program will also be available on the UMMC Midtown Campus as a way to provide transitional care to people who are being discharged from the inpatient behavioral health unit, or for people who are struggling with their psychiatric symptoms but do not require hospital admission. This “day hospital” program will be available at the UMMC Midtown Campus in the Spring of 2019. 

About the University of Maryland Medical Center

The University of Maryland Medical Center (UMMC) is comprised of two hospitals in Baltimore: an 800-bed teaching hospital — UMMC Downtown Campus -- the flagship institution of the 14-hospital University of Maryland Medical System (UMMS) — and a 200-bed  teaching hospital, UMMC Midtown Campus. UMMC is a national and regional referral center for trauma, cancer care, neurocare, cardiac care, diabetes and endocrinology, women's and children's health, and has one of the largest solid organ transplant programs in the country. All physicians on staff at the flagship hospital are faculty physicians of the University of Maryland School of Medicine. At UMMC Midtown Campus, faculty physicians work alongside community physicians to provide patients with the highest quality care. UMMC Midtown Campus was founded in 1881 and is located one mile away from the Downtown Campus hospital. For more information, visit www.umm.edu.

About the University of Maryland School of Medicine
Commemorating its 210th Anniversary, the University of Maryland School of Medicine was chartered in 1807 as the first public medical school in the United States. It continues today as one of the fastest growing, top-tier biomedical research enterprises in the world – with 43 academic departments, centers, institutes, and programs; and a faculty of more than 3,000 physicians, scientists, and allied health professionals, including members of the National Academy of Sciences, and a distinguished recipient of the Albert E. Lasker Award in Medical Research. With an operating budget of more than $1 billion, the School of Medicine works closely in partnership with the University of Maryland Medical Center and Medical System to provide research-intensive, academic and clinically-based care for more than 1.2 million patients each year. The School has over 2,500 students, residents, and fellows, and nearly $450 million in extramural funding, with more than half of its academic departments ranked in the top 20 among all public medical schools in the nation in research funding. As one of the seven professional schools that make up the University of Maryland, Baltimore campus, the School of Medicine has a total workforce of nearly 7,000 individuals. The combined School and Medical System (“University of Maryland Medicine”) has a total budget of $5 billion and an economic impact of nearly $15 billion on the state and local community. The School of Medicine faculty, which ranks as the 8th-highest public medical school in research productivity, is an innovator in translational medicine with 600 active patents and 24 start-up companies. The School works locally, nationally, and globally, with research and treatment facilities in 36 countries around the world. Visit medschool.umaryland.edu.