LewisGale Hospital Pulaski Behavioral Health Tour

– [David Hungate] In our region it'd be hard to find someone who hasn't been affected directly or indirectly by substance abuse It's an epidemic that's hard to fight

But LewisGale Hospital Pulaski has a new unit that offers treatment and hope for people struggling with addiction and emotional issues The state of the art, adult inpatient behavioral health unit is designed to be the first line of help The unit will provide care for acute episodes like psychological emergencies or drug addiction needing medical driven detox Patients will be admitted for about a week and will then be referred to outpatient services or treatment facilities designed for more long term care The 16 bed facility is the first of it's kind in the New River Valley

And unit director Leigh Gathings says there's a big need for services like these – So we know that the New River Valley has been hard hit by the opioid crisis and we hope that this unit will assist people in wellness and returning to the community in a much healthier way – [David Hungate] The new facility is separate and secure from the existing hospital It's equipped with furniture and fixtures that prevent patients from harming themselves or others Rooms for group therapy treatment and quiet spaces, along with a private outdoor area, allows patients to focus on their treatment while staying close to family and friends who can provide support

The process to start a new behavioral health unit is complicated but worth it – We're excited, it's been a lot of hard work, two years of licensure, and applications, and construction, but now we're able to open our doors We're able to impact this community, and impact individuals in a way that we never have before, and there's something incredibly gratifying and exciting about that opportunity as we look forward to change life for people living in this community – [David Hungate] The 8000 square foot unit required the hiring of about 25 new staff including physicians, nurses, social workers, and other health care professionals Patients from across the state, as well as North Carolina and West Virginia, are expected to be treated in the new facility

In Pulaski, Virginia, I'm David Hungate