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Southern Maine Health Care and Maine Behavioral Healthcare open new behavioral health units in Sanford

October 20, 2020

Allison Kenty
617-529-3123
akenty@smhc.org

SANFORD, Maine – Southern Maine Health Care (SMHC) and Maine Behavioral Healthcare (MBH) are opening two new behavioral health units at the Sanford Medical Center (former Goodall Hospital).

In addition, the Sanford Medical Center emergency department has expanded to include dedicated emergency psychiatric services and rooms. This project significantly enhances and expands the scope of health services offered in Sanford and York County by creating emergency and inpatient access. This is expected to reduce wait times for patients who are seeking non-behavioral acute care in the Sanford emergency department as well as to provide more efficient care to those in need of behavioral health services.

The project includes relocating the existing 12-bed adult behavioral health care unit in Biddeford to Sanford and expanding the number of adult beds up to 40 across 2 floors. The project will generate more than 70 new jobs and provide critically needed bed capacity for York County adult patients who are experiencing short-term crises with common diagnoses such as psychosis, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, and co-occurring substance use disorders. It will provide stabilization for adults whose inpatient treatment needs can be met within a few days, after which individualized treatment plans will support transitions to appropriate levels of care in their community.

“We are excited to bring back inpatient care to the former Goodall Hospital campus and proud to continue the tradition of caring for our community while re-invigorating this campus, creating new jobs and provide much-needed health services,” said Southern Maine Health Care President Nathan Howell. “We are fortunate to be in a position to leverage all of the advantages and value that Southern Maine Health Care, Maine Behavioral Healthcare and the MaineHealth system offer to benefit our patients in York County.”

This new inpatient service will be provided through the partnership between SMHC and MBH, who already offer many outpatient behavioral health services in York County such as counseling, Partial Hospital Program, Intensive Outpatient Services and substance use treatment, including Integrated Medication Assistance Treatment. These partnerships are being made possible, in part, by the strength of the recently unified MaineHealth system.

“The lack of short-stay beds in York County for patients with behavioral healthcare needs has resulted in unacceptable wait periods for these patients who desperately require care,” said Robert McCarley, M.D., a psychiatrist and vice president of Medical Affairs at MBH. “These patients often present at emergency departments, where they may wait days for an available bed, This is not conducive to their own health care needs, and the process often causes a domino-effect of delays for other patients requiring emergency health services, as well.”

Behavioral health cases have increased 20 percent at SMHC’s two emergency rooms over the last two years.

This project is part of a $34 million plan to expand, enhance and add a variety of health services identified as critical to Sanford and York County. Included in this investment are enhancements to upgrade infrastructure and technology such as the addition of a new MRI machine to support the expanded outpatient and imaging services. Other enhancements include improved lighting, sidewalk replacements and curb repairs, sealcoating in the parking lot, landscaping and a new boiler.

In addition to the behavioral health project and upgrades to the Sanford Medical Center campus, the construction of Summer Commons, a new, modern long-term care center for older adults is underway and slated to open in the spring. This will replace the existing Newton Center and was made possible through a partnership between developer Sandy River Company, a Portland, Maine-based developer, and North Country Associates, a Lewiston, Maine-based operator and manager of older adult care centers throughout the state.

The projects are in addition to more than $10 million of investment that has already been made in the facility’s technology, operations and outpatient services since the merger to form Southern Maine Health Care in 2014.

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About Southern Maine Health Care
Southern Maine Health Care (SMHC) is a national award-winning healthcare organization with a non-profit mission “to improve the health and health care of the communities we serve.” SMHC includes a full service, acute care medical center in Biddeford, with York County’s only inpatient mental health unit. Emergency care, surgical services and diagnostic and therapy services are available at SMHC’s Medical Centers in Biddeford and Sanford. SMHC offers primary care and multi-specialty physician services, diagnostic and therapy services and Walk-In Care centers in York County communities including Biddeford, Kennebunk, Saco, Sanford and Waterboro. SMHC is Joint Commission accredited and has been recognized for quality excellence by numerous outside organizations. SMHC is part of the MaineHealth system, a growing family of health care services in northern New England. To learn more, visit www.smhc.org.

About Maine Behavioral Healthcare
Maine Behavioral Healthcare is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization serving more than 20,000 children, adolescents and adults at over 30 locations throughout southern, western, and mid-coast Maine, providing a continuum of coordinated mental healthcare from outpatient community offices to inpatient acute care at Spring Harbor Hospital. For more information, please visit mainebehavioralhealthcare.org.

About MaineHealth

MaineHealth is a not-for-profit integrated health system consisting of eight local hospital systems, a comprehensive behavioral healthcare network, diagnostic services, home health agencies, and more than 1,600 employed and independent physicians working together through an Accountable Care Organization. With close to 19,000 employees, MaineHealth is the largest health system in northern New England and provides preventive care, diagnosis and treatment to 1.1 million residents in Maine and New Hampshire.


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