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The new behavioral health care facility took two years to develop.

Photo courtesy of Medical Center of Aurora

The Medical Center of Aurora (Colo.) opened a new Adolescent Behavioral Health Unit July 6 that will meet the needs of underserved Denver area youth ages 12 to 17 who need specialized care.

The new $5 million facility is 19,875 square feet and consists of consult and exam rooms, space for treatment planning and group therapy, a seclusion room, nurse station with pharmacy, quiet activity room, comfort rooms and an outdoor activity yard.

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Rooms for group therapy and quiet activity help youth interact with one another in a safe, positive environment.

Photo courtesy of Medical Center of Aurora

The unit is designed to keep patients safe with increased security access, anti-ligature fixtures, and an open concept to allow patients to interact with one another to promote well-being.

In development for nearly two years, the new facility includes 20 inpatient beds and expects to operate at 100 percent capacity. A typical length of stay is seven to 14 days, followed by an intensive outpatient program. 

The facility designer was Stengel-Hill Architecture and the general contractor was Howell Construction.

Scott Adams, director of youth services for the program, says the facility's holistic approach to care is what makes the Adolescent Behavioral Health Unit unique.

"Our clinical treatment is unmatched," Adams says. "We treat the whole person, integrating physical, emotional and medical issues with the goal of improving day-to-day interactions with the world. We understand the importance of treating youth as individuals with unique qualities and needs."

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Patients who stay at the 20-bed facility will receive follow-up outpatient care.

Photo courtesy of Medical Center of Aurora

The Adolescent Behavioral Health Unit offers a comprehensive physician-led, interdisciplinary treatment team to work with challenges ranging from anger management, anxiety, depression, potential to cause self-harm and much more.

According to the National Institute of Mental Health, about one in five youth ages 12 to 17 suffer from a range of treatable mental health problems. An estimated 50,000 youth in the Denver area may need help for behavioral health issues, area health experts say.

The Denver metro area currently has only 148 inpatient psychiatric beds within area medical facilities, so the addition of 20 new beds at the Medical Center of Aurora's campus is significant, according to the health system.

The Medical Center of Aurora is part of HealthONE, Denver's largest health care system.

 In other health care facility news:

  • Design firm MorrisSwitzer Environments for Health joined Dartmouth-Hitchcock health system for the recent groundbreaking of the Jack Byrne Center for Palliative and Hospice Care, Lebanon, N.H.

    The new 30,000-square-foot facility will incorporate special amenities designed to increase support for patients’ and families’ physical, emotional and spiritual comfort.

    The center, located on the Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center campus in Lebanon, will include educational spaces for regional providers and caregivers to train in palliative and hospice care. The facility is slated for completion in fall of 2017.

  • Owensboro (Ky.) Health and CBRE Healthcare, Los Angeles, announced the June 28 groundbreaking for three new locations that are part of a $65 million project involving new One Healthplex outpatient facilities.

    Over the next 18 months, the health system will construct new health care centers in Henderson, Madisonville and Muhlenberg in Western Kentucky. The new outpatient facilities will offer primary and urgent care, specialty services, outpatient testing, patient education and wellness care.

  • Kingston Bay Senior Living, Fresno, Calif., an assisted living and memory care community, will celebrate its opening with an event for the entire community on Thursday.

    Located on four acres, the 86,467-square-foot community has 107 state-of-the-art residences. The assisted living area consists of 61 one-bedroom and 22 studio apartment homes. An area designed for those with Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia includes 24 memory care residences.

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