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Addition gives Brook Lane patients 'their own space'

May 21, 2004|by TARA REILLY

tarar@herald-mail.com

While staff and patients moved in last month, the smell of paint is still fresh throughout the new $4.5 million hospital at the Brook Lane Health Services campus north of Hagerstown.

The campus' new addition will provide better care for patients of all ages who require mental health treatment, facility officials said Thursday during the dedication and ribbon-cutting ceremony for the new hospital.

More than 100 people attended the event, which included tours of the new hospital.

Dr. David Gonzalez, Brook Lane medical director, said the project took courage and determination to begin and complete.

"This building is just more than an accumulation of brick and mortar," Gonzalez said.

Chief Executive Officer R. Lynn Rushing said the project began three years ago, including two years of construction.

The hospital has 42 individual patient rooms - consisting of six children's rooms, 16 for adolescents and 20 for adults - all surrounding a central nursing station.

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At the end of the adolescent wing, banners with words such as "anger," "assertiveness" and "self-esteem" adorn the wall of a new day room.

The room, which overlooks the rolling hills and farms surrounding the Brook Lane campus, is a place where adolescents gather during the day for group and other activities.

The new hospital also has a large community room, new dining rooms for adults and adolescents and children, outpatient offices and storage areas.

Gonzalez said the hospital was necessary because the needs of patients have become more complex, requiring private rooms for those under Brook Lane's care.

Curt Miller, director of public relations, said Brook Lane had to turn away patients because it didn't have individual rooms for them.

"Now the rooms are individual and everybody has their own space," Miller said.

The Mennonite Church began Brook Lane Health Services in 1949.

Today, its services include special education services; child and adolescent hospitalization; outpatient treatment; transitional care home for children and adolescents; public school-based services; individual, group, marital and family therapy; nutritional counseling; pastoral counseling; and other services.

The average stay for inpatient treatment is eight days. In fiscal year 2002-03, Brook Lane had 1,071 inpatient admissions and 18,200 outpatient visits, facility officials have said.

Brook Lane treats patients with a variety of mental illnesses including depression, anxiety, schizophrenia, character disorders, family disturbances and situational problems, according to its Web site, brooklane.org.

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