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Children's Hospital Celebrates The Opening of Its New Behavioral Health Center

Children's Hospital Celebrates The Opening of Its New Behavioral Health Center

The 70,000 square foot, 51-bed Behavioral Health Center at Children’s Hospital New Orleans supports the growth of specialized pediatric mental and behavioral health services for the state of Louisiana, as part of Children’s $300 million campus expansion effort.

NEW ORLEANS – On January 22, Children’s Hospital New Orleans will celebrate the opening of its new free-standing Behavioral Health Center with a ribbon cutting ceremony and tours of the new center, just a few weeks away from opening for patient care and expanding services for the region.

The new Behavioral Health Center at Children’s Hospital is among the largest and most comprehensive programs in the nation, serving patients and families from across the Gulf South in a comprehensive center that is exclusively dedicated to serving children and adolescents with a wide range of mental and behavioral health disorders. The $25 million project located on Children’s Hospital’s main campus is one of the largest free-standing pediatric facilities of its kind in the United States.

“Children’s Hospital is dedicated to providing extraordinary healthcare for all kids and only kids,” said John R. Nickens IV, President and Chief Executive Officer at Children’s Hospital New Orleans. “Sometimes that means running to the problem and developing innovative ways to change the dynamics of pediatric healthcare. With one in five children affected by behavioral and mental health disorders, we must amplify the way we are proactively addressing behavioral healthcare for children—a concern the country’s top children’s hospitals have struggled to adequately address.”

Children’s new Behavioral Health Center will offer acute inpatient behavioral health treatment in a safe, structured, and nurturing environment for kids who are 7-17 years old. The program focuses on teaching and empowering each patient to develop healthy life skills to improve his or her function and future quality of life.

Together with its two medical school partners, LSU Health New Orleans and Tulane University School of Medicine, Children’s is leading the way in mental and behavioral health services, adding talented leaders from across the country who want to be a part of this incredible expansion of services.

The inpatient unit will have 51 beds available for children who need mental health services such as treatment for severe depression, anxiety or mood disorders. With an interdisciplinary model of care, social workers, recreational therapists and music therapists work collaboratively with psychiatrists to develop individualized treatment plans. With expanded capacity from Children’s existing Behavioral Health Unit located on the hospital’s Calhoun St. Campus, an additional 500 inpatients will be cared for annually, in addition to an expanded outpatient psychiatry program that will more than double its capacity with more than 2,000 visits per year.

“The new Behavioral Health Center, designed by Fernandez & Johnson Architecture and built by our construction partners at The Lemoine Company, facilitates a team approach to family-centered care,” says Ben Whitworth, Vice President of Hospital Operations at Children’s Hospital New Orleans. “The innovative design fosters a healing environment while keeping patient safety and quality at the forefront.”

Outpatient services will also be provided at the new center to complement inpatient care, including assessment and treatment of psychiatric and behavioral disorders such as autism spectrum disorder, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and mood disturbance. An interdisciplinary team of professionals will provide evidence-based management for a range of challenges facing children, adolescents and their families. Telemedicine services will also be based at this location and provide specialty resources for the entire region, improving access and support.

“Our program is not only about investments in bricks and mortar,” says George Bisset, MD, Chief Medical Officer at Children’s Hospital New Orleans. “It’s about providing a continuum of care that supports mental wellbeing for our patients and families at all levels. We’re building programs that expand access, forming new partnerships in the community, and giving our patients and families the tools and support they need to best cope with a wide variety of conditions.”

The Behavioral Health Center at Children’s Hospital is made possible with the support of the Goldring Family and Woldenberg Foundations, who have contributed $2 million to Behavioral Health services through the foundations’ support of Children’s Hospital’s capital campaign, Extraordinary Together: The Campaign for Louisiana’s Children.

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About Children’s Hospital New Orleans

Children’s Hospital New Orleans is a 229-bed, non-profit academic pediatric medical center that offers comprehensive healthcare services, including over 40 pediatric specialties, delivered just for children. With more than 400 physicians trained in more than 40 pediatric subspecialties, Children’s offers a comprehensive array of pediatric healthcare services in Louisiana and the Gulf South. In addition to its main campus located in New Orleans, the hospital operates a network of specialty clinics across Louisiana and in Southern Mississippi, including in Covington, Baton Rouge, and Lafayette. Children’s Hospital offers primary care services at 15 convenient locations throughout Southeast Louisiana and remotely via its Virtual Care app. Children’s Hospital is a proud member of LCMC Health, a Louisiana-based, not-for-profit hospital system which also includes New Orleans East Hospital, Touro, University Medical Center New Orleans and West Jefferson Medical Center. Learn more at chnola.org.