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To answer the growing need of specialized senior care in the community, Saint John Hospital has recently expanded their Senior Behavioral Health Unit, growing from 18 to 30 beds. That expansion was recently marked by a special open house and ribbon cutting ceremony.

According to Bruce Johnson, director of Psychiatric Services, Saint John Senior Behavioral Health Center, every detail was taken into consideration during construction to ensure the safety of geriatric patients, from the shape of the door knobs to the type of flooring used.

The renovated Center includes a dining area, patio, therapy rooms and common areas, all with updated finishes and furnishings, as well as the latest technology and equipment to better serve patients, their families and the community.

Patients in the Senior Behavioral Health Center typically are adults 55-plus with a neurocognitive impairment such as:

  • Dementia, Alzheimer’s disease or memory problems
  • Depression, bi-polar disorder or other mood disorder
  • Anxiety
  • Grief reactions
  • Confusion
  • Change in mental status
  • Thoughts of suicide

The Center also has recently started working with the Veteran’s Administration Medical Center to care for older veterans in need of psychiatric care. “Our expansion enables us to serve a larger breadth of patient diagnoses and bigger geographic area, including veterans from throughout the greater Kansas City area,” says Man Anand, M.D., psychiatrist and medical director of the Center.

The Team

The Senior Behavioral Health Center, which is secured for patient safety, features a dedicated clinical staff under the direction of Dr. Anand and Diana Khayat, RN, nurse manager. Khayat is a long-term employee of Saint John Hospital, and Dr. Anand is a board-certified psychiatrist who sees patients in the Center seven days a week.

“One of the things we do differently here is encourage family and caregivers to participate in the treatment planning process, and if they can’t be physically present, we make it possible for them to take part via conference call,” Dr. Anand said.

In addition, by being connected to Saint John, a medical/surgical hospital, the program has more resources available to assist patients with some of the additional complex medical issues they may face, such as heart disease, diabetes or cancer.

Other members of the patient’s medical team include social workers and physical, occupational and recreational therapists. Each of these professionals is specially trained to understand the diverse and complex needs of the patients they serve.

Stays for most patients last from one to two weeks while the patient’s team evaluates and treats the immediate concern. “We also work closely with families to help transition the patient to the best environment for ongoing care, whether that is home, assisted living or a combination,” Johnson says.

Expert Psychiatric Care, Close to Home

The Senior Behavioral Health Center is conveniently located on the Saint John Hospital campus at 3500 S. 4th Street, Leavenworth, Kan., just 20 minutes from the Legends and 35 minutes from Kansas City, Mo.

The Center accepts direct referrals from family members/caregivers, as well as referring physicians 24 hours a day, seven days a week. For more information about the Senior Behavioral Health Center, call the 24-hour help line at 913-680-6220.