Health & Wellness Services of Garrett Regional Medical Center offers comprehensive behavioral health services for children and adults at its location at 69 Wolf Acres Drive in Oakland.
The facility, created in part through a $600,000 federal Health Resources and Services Administration grant, is open to all residents of GRMC’s service area, which encompasses eight counties across three states.
The fact that the facility will provide services to residents of West Virginia and Pennsylvania, in addition to those living in Maryland, is a plus for the broader region.
The HRSA grant involved GRMC partnering with Mountain Laurel Medical Center and the WVU Department of Behavioral Medicine and Psychiatry to integrate behavioral health and primary care services for patients throughout the area.
“Through our partnership with WVU Medicine, we are pleased to fill the gap in meeting our region’s behavioral healthcare needs,” said Mark Boucot, GRMC’s president and CEO. “The shortage of behavioral health providers is a national problem and certainly one for our region. Whether it is a need for grief counseling, treatment for anxiety and depression or overcoming substance abuse, we are thrilled to offer these much-needed services that will benefit residents from throughout the tri-state region. We hope to reduce the devastating impact that mental illness and addiction can have on an individual and their loved ones.”
Boucot recognized guests at the event, who included Julianna Albowicz from Sen. Chris Van Hollen’s office, Robin Summerfield from Sen. Ben Cardin’s office, Taylor Donahue from Rep. David Trone’s office, and Oakland Mayor Peggy Jamison.
“I am pleased to have our representatives here to witness this event,” Boucot said. “Our congressional leadership, our state and our local leadership all were instrumental in creating support for the HRSA, which actually provided the germination of the center.”
Boucot stated that he has been CEO for five years now, and he wanted to share his favorite statistic.
“There are now 65 more jobs in Garrett County because of this hospital than there were five years ago,” he said. “It’s really exciting. We don’t do this for profit. We do this to grow the services in the community and to grow the community.”
Health & Wellness Services will be open Monday through Friday, with hours varying to accommodate patient needs.
Staff at the agency includes two licensed certified counselors, one with a background in addictions; a mental health nurse practitioner; a psychologist; a licensed practical nurse; and a support staff member.
The licensed practical nurse will conduct primary care wellness checks on all patients, recording heart rate, pulmonary function, blood pressure, weight and body mass index.
“In our plans to provide comprehensive behavioral health services, we set out to take a holistic approach,” noted Boucot. “Oftentimes behavioral health patients tend to neglect their physical health. We want to help them understand that physical health can impact mental health and vice versa. Teaching patients to take care of themselves physically can help them feel better and lead healthier lives. We really want to consider the whole individual.”
In addition to primary care checks, patients will also receive assistance by being referred to community agencies for help with daily living tasks that can have an impact on their mental health. Health & Wellness Services will work with area social programs to ensure patient needs are met across the board.
“I pray this center reduces the impact of mental illness in this community and that this center becomes a beacon for people to come for help to get treated for their disease conditions, and that we as a community would wrap our arms around them through the support of this center,” Boucot said.
Approximately 55 people attended the ribbon cutting.
Anyone interested in making an appointment at Health & Wellness Services of Garrett Regional Medical Center can call 301-533-2190.