PWFMC psychiatric unit to make its debut

July 31, 2013
Providence Willamette Falls Medical Center’s new child and adolescent psychiatric unit is scheduled to open next month. It will serve patients ages 5 to 17 who need inpatient psychiatric care and are being served currently at a unit in Providence Hall, an older wing of Providence Portland Medical Center. (Adult inpatient behavioral health services at PPMC will not be affected.)

“We’re revitalizing our treatment model in a number of ways, including training our staff in collaborative problem solving, an Oregon and national best practice for child and adolescent psychiatry,” says Ken Ensroth, M.D., medical director. “An additional component will be a new outpatient child/adolescent psychiatry clinic, with emphasis on further stabilization after admission, and sometimes to prevent hospitalization.”  

The department’s care model also aims to ease the transition back home and to school. This is supported by new communications technology, such as secure videoconferencing, that will improve contact with families and community care providers throughout the region.

The unit has two new full-time child and adolescent psychiatrists starting in August, and will bring in a third to provide inpatient, outpatient and consulting services.

Staff members at PPMC helped to design the new Willamette Falls unit, which was built in unfinished space on the hospital’s second floor, above emergency and diagnostic imaging. It has 20 rooms (18 of them private), improved space for parent visitation, quite and soothing “low-stimulation” areas and outdoor space for physical activity.

“It’s a rare privilege and a great honor to help open a new child psychiatry unit and program,” Dr. Ensroth says. “The Providence Willamette Falls staff has been wonderfully supportive, and this will be a great psychiatric program for kids.”