With less than a year until the opening of the Department of Mental Health’s new Worcester Recovery Center and Hospital (WRCH) I want to take the opportunity to thank the hundreds of individuals — consumers, family members, staff, providers, state partners and members of the mental health community – who, for the past seven years, have participated in the planning, design and construction process.
The WRCH is a historic project for DMH and the Commonwealth at large; the development process of this facility has always been focused on ensuring the delivery of a high-quality, recovery-oriented, safe and respectful environment for patients, staff and families. This is also the first time in more than 100 years that the state has built a new psychiatric facility in Massachusetts: a tremendous milestone indeed.
We continue to assess DMH’s inpatient system and will focus on a phased approach to opening the new facility. When we reach our target opening date in July 2012, we will have transitioned all who work and reside at the current Worcester State Hospital into the new facility.
The state-of-the-art facility at WRCH requires us to take a measured approach to transitioning patients, families and staff to the new facility. We’ve examined the options that make it clinically and programmatically prudent to offer a phased opening of the new facility: this will allow time for patients, families and staff to adjust and stabilize before transferring additional patients. A phased approach also allows for a corps of trained staff to familiarize themselves with the new, therapeutic environment and physical layout. For overall patient and staff safety, this stability must be achieved before future phases occur.
Preparing to move into a new hospital is a significant undertaking. It is also a tremendous opportunity to strive for excellence throughout the DMH inpatient system and our entire service delivery in the community. I value this experience and am grateful for DMH’s collective efforts to ensure continuity among inpatient staff statewide.
Site of new facility in Worcester
The experience, dedication and professionalism of DMH staff are invaluable: patients and families will rely upon these attributes during the transition over the next nine months. It’s an exciting time for DMH and I look forward to sharing future posts on the continued progress of this remarkable milestone in the Commonwealth’s public mental health system. My kudos and thanks to the many individuals involved in this transition and their extraordinary work on behalf of the adults, children adolescents and families we serve every day.
# # #
Go Do Good Things: A Room Dedicated to the Legacy of Former Commissioner Elmer Bartels posted on Dec 16
It is with great pleasure that the Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission (MRC) announces the newly dedicated Elmer C. Bartels Conference room. This month, the MRC dedicated a room on the second floor of our Administrative Office in Boston to the memory and spirit of former Commissioner Elmer …Continue Reading Go Do Good Things: A Room Dedicated to the Legacy of Former Commissioner Elmer Bartels
Honoring Sheridan Haines: 7 Years Leading Governor’s Council to Address Sexual and Domestic Violence posted on Dec 12
On June 6, 2007, Governor Deval Patrick signed Executive Order 486 establishing the Governor’s Council to Address Sexual and Domestic Violence with the goals of improving policies, legislation and responses. This month, the Commonwealth’s First Lady Diane Patrick thanked the Council’s Executive Director Sheridan Haines for …Continue Reading Honoring Sheridan Haines: 7 Years Leading Governor’s Council to Address Sexual and Domestic Violence
Dept of Transitional Assistance Recognized for Excellence in Technology posted on Dec 8
In recognition of the successful implementation of the Department of Transitional Assistance’s (DTA) Business Process Redesign, Commissioner Stacey Monahan was recognized at the annual Massachusetts Excellence in Technology Awards for DTA’s new Business Process Redesign (BPR). The Department’s new business model and technological advancements ensure efficient and accurate …Continue Reading Dept of Transitional Assistance Recognized for Excellence in Technology