Posts Tagged ‘Emory Wesley Woods’

The New and Improved Emory University Hospital at Wesley Woods

entrance-wesleyMental illness is an epidemic in the United States today. In the state of Georgia, suicide is the 3rd leading cause of death (www.namiga.org). As more and more people are seeking treatment for depression, anxiety, and other mental health illnesses, there is a rising need for more treatment options. Sitting down with Emory University Hospital at Wesley Woods Clinical Administrator, Jen Schuck, helped to shed light on how Emory Healthcare, is working towards addressing the needs of this rising epidemic.

In the past year, Emory University Hospital at Wesley Woods (EUHWW) has undergone significant changes. Ms. Schuck says EUHWW as a whole, are trying to move away, “from the negative stigmas” by referring to psychiatric services as “behavioral health.” In addition to promoting a more positive way to talk about mental health, Ms. Schuck explains how EUHWW has essentially re-vamped the treatment method for behavioral health. Inpatient behavioral health has two units and offers two different outpatient treatment tracks. One unit is for “acute behavioral services such as paranoia, delusions, hallucinations or schizophrenia type illnesses” says Schuck. The second inpatient unit is for patients with medical co-occurring illnesses. The two tracks recognize the differences between patients and treating them to meet their specific needs. “We have to provide patients with life skills or coping skills for discharge readiness” says Schuck. She also reports the inpatient units are largely “stabilization” units. After receiving short term inpatient treatment, patients can step down to outpatient treatment—and again EUHWW offers two different tracks patients can choose from, based on their specific needs. Outpatient behavioral health services has different levels of acuity-

  • Partial Hospitalization Program (PHP)
  • Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP)
  • Continuing Care Program (CCP)

This breakdown makes it, “so we are always caring for the patient” throughout their course of treatment. Schuck says patients should be “treated for 6 to 8 months” post acute episode. The second outpatient program track offers patients a Transitional Care Clinic. Essentially, a nurse driven program for patients not going the PHP/IOP/CCP track. The nurse will contact the patient following their discharge from their inpatient stay. The Transitional Care Clinic follows patients for 30 days post-discharge and will make contact with the patient within 7 days of their inpatient hospitalization. This ensures patients are receiving the proper after care treatment. Schuck summarizes this new structure as, “patients who are inpatient can either go the PHP track post discharge or the Transitional Care Clinic track. Either way—it allows us to be more engaged in their after care.” Thus reducing recidivism because the patient will be supported long-term, rather than only acutely.

How do these changes impact the general community, you ask? Schuck says “number one, it provides easier access to behavioral health services. Gives ability to manage behavioral health services with comorbidities which is not commonly treated.” She also says being backed by a university, gives “access to cutting edge” treatment options for the community. She emphasizes the newly structured behavioral health systems at EUHWW serves patients who are “more fragile” and is special to the Atlanta area community because traditionally, medical and psychiatric co-occurring illnesses are not treated together.

When asked for her thoughts in general on psychiatric services for the 21st century at EUHWW, Schuck referred back to how the new treatment structures are more cohesive. She reports also EUHWW has a Neuromodulation clinic, which partners with Treatment Resistant Disorders (TRD) clinic to provide patients with ECT (electro-convulsive therapy—which is much less invasive now as it was in previous years), ketamine infusions, and Emory Healthcare has also just launched RTMS (Repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Services). Schuck reports this will provide options to patients other than ECT—RTMS uses magnetic brain waves to change the brain chemistry in people with mental illness. Schuck reports the overall “global” goal is for the programs to continue to care for people beyond the walls of this hospital. She hopes to bridge our care continuum to outside providers and be able to treat the whole patient—rather than just one piece. When asked why families should choose Emory Healthcare for their behavioral health needs, Schuck references the above re-vamped treatment structure. She also reports such changes supports EUHWW moving towards, “being a world class treatment facility” providing individualized treatment. Schuck hopes in the next 5 years, that EUHWW psychiatric services will be expanded. She also says behavioral health needs will increase by 10% according to strategic planning and that “we need to be ready.” She re-emphasizes her goal of community outreach—having our continuum of care stretch beyond the four walls of our hospitals—reaching into the community. When asked what she would want the community to know about EUHWW, Schuck says “we have re-invented ourselves” explaining we are apart of a greater system within Emory Healthcare by creating a new identity, we are not a nursing home, and serve more than just geriatric patients; requiring many cultural changes. Schuck reports, “we are getting to a place that is more comprehensive” treating the acute system for long-term. Thus, it is tapping into a larger “brain health system”, providing care for more patients for longer time periods—a connection that other systems may not have. This is also a connection that could save a life. We are all in this together. Together, with the newly re-invented structures at EUHWW, we can help patients and families thrive in mental health wellness.

Emory Healthcare Behavioral Health Services:
Inpatient treatment- 404.728.6222
Outpatient treatment- 404.778.5526
PHP/IOP/CCP- 404.728.4776.

Partial Hospitalization Program – What is It?”

Partial Hospitalization ProgramI have been a part of the Emory family for 6 years. Over the past 6 years, I have worked in the Transitions Seniors Program, better known as PHP. When attending different community events, a question I hear all too often is, “PHP? What’s that?” PHP is short for Partial Hospitalization Program. I hope this blog can answer the question, “PHP? What’s that?”

What is Partial Hospitalization Program?

Partial hospitalization is defined by the American Association of Partial Hospitalizations as: A distinct and organized intensive psychiatric outpatient treatment that closely resembles short-term inpatient program. The Medicare psychiatric partial hospitalization benefits were established to provide patients with an acute mental illness, services in lieu of inpatient psychiatric care (Block & Lefkovitz, 2009). The PHP patient care is an individualized treatment plan developed by the physician and a multidisciplinary team with input from the patient.

Who is part of the multidisciplinary PHP team?

Our team includes a physician, a program director, four licensed therapists, a registered nurse, and an advanced practice nurse. All team members are very experienced in the mental health field and serve our patients with pride, compassion, and integrity.

Who should use PHP?

Patients admitted to a PHP program require a minimum of 20 hours per week of therapeutic services. Here at Emory Wesley Woods, we have a PHP program that is geared specifically towards older adults. We target patients who are 60+ struggling with a mood disorder (such as depression, anxiety, bipolar, etc.) and need a higher level of care than outpatient treatment. Patients do not need a doctor referral; however, they must meet certain diagnostic criteria.

About Our Program

Emory Healthcare’s Transitions Senior Program (PHP) of Wesley Woods was established in 1997. It is a hospital based program represented by the National Association of Psychiatric Health Systems and is part of a larger continuum of care for older adults. As of 2013, we were also recognized under the Joint Commission as a “Top Performer on Key Quality Measures.” According to the Joint Commission website, to be recognized, is a “symbol of quality that reflects an organization’s commitment to meeting certain performance standards.” We are honored to have this. Click here for more information on Joint Commission.

The Transitions Senior Program is designed to provide intensive therapy to older adults experiencing behavioral health difficulties. The structured format provides medical monitoring as well as therapeutic groups on a wide range of topics. The program can be used as a step down from inpatient treatment for older adults needing an intensive level of care, but not hospitalization. Additionally, the program can be a preventive measure for patients at risk of inpatient hospitalization. The advantage of this program is that patients are able to continue their normal life activities with very minimal disruption. After assessment of needs, each patient receives a personalized treatment plan. The therapy program is voluntary and is conducted daily from 10:00 am to 2:30 pm, Monday through Friday. The average length of stay is between 4 to 6 weeks. Our program is the only senior-specific partial program in the metro Atlanta Area as well as the only one to provide free transportation to and from the facility.

In addition to the PHP program, we have also launched an IOCP (Intensive Outpatient Counseling Program) in September 2014. This is a 3 day program (Monday, Wednesday, Friday) in a less intense setting than PHP, where patients can attend for up to 36 treatment days (roughly 3 months). This program takes the concepts learned in PHP and teaches patients how to apply and use them in their daily lives. A patient does not have to go to PHP in order to join. Patients do need to provide their own transportation for this program. IOCP is Monday, Wednesday, Friday from 11:30am to 2:15pm.

I am proud to say I work in the Transitions Senior Program. The psychiatry department is thriving as PHP and IOCP continue to grow daily. If you are ever at Wesley Woods, feel free to stop by to speak to anyone on our team. We are on the first floor of the hospital, adjacent to the cafeteria. Both PHP and IOCP are housed in the same suite (B-1200). For more information on either program, please call 404-728-4776 or our program director, Ed Lawrence, at 404-728-6975.

We look forward to accommodating your geriatric psychiatry needs soon.

Repositioning the Psychiatric Service Continuum at Emory University Hospital at Wesley Woods

Adult PsychiatryThe National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) projects over the next 25 years, we will witness the largest population increase in people over 60 years old in the history of mankind, in addition to a general population that will reach 400 million by 2030. The need for psychiatric services is also expected to increase during this period. These projections demand a review of how we provide psychiatric services.

As a result of this review, Emory University Hospital at Wesley Woods is proud to announce the launch of our new Adult and Senior Inpatient Psychiatry Programs. Our inpatient care model includes a diagnostic assessment, initial treatment and crisis stabilization to insure our patients safely transition from inpatient care to outpatient therapy. We also offer advanced treatments for psychiatric and mood disorders, including electroconvulsive therapy (ECT), Ketamine Infusions and Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) – treatments that all may be continued after patients leave the hospital.

Our outpatient service offerings incorporate the Transitions Senior Program /Partial Hospitalization Program (PHP) & Intensive Outpatient Counseling Program (IOCP). We also offer general outpatient psychiatric care office visits. Additionally, we are also pleased to highlight the success of our recently launched 60+ Men’s Support Group. Our multi-specialty team of psychiatrists, residents, fellows, psychiatric nurses, licensed clinical social workers, licensed professional counselors; certified addiction counselors and mental health associates utilize best practices to treat a full range of psychiatric disorders.

Emory University Hospital at Wesley Woods has taken a creative role in developing, improving and increasing our psychiatric services for the next decade.

Stay tuned to see what is next!

Emory University Hospital at Wesley Woods
1821 Clifton Road, NE
Atlanta, GA 30329

For more information

  • Inpatient/ ECT/Ketamine/TMS: 404-728-6222
  • Outpatient Services: 404-728-4776