Published on June 24, 2010

Baptist Begins Two New Building Projects

COLUMBUS, Miss. - Baptist Memorial Hospital-Golden Triangle has begun two construction projects totaling more than $11 million; a new behavioral and mental health facility and a parking lot expansion and renovation project. The parking lot is projected to be completed this fall, just as construction will being on the new building which is set to open in early 2012.

The new parking lot project is being completed first to ensure adequate parking for employees and the public when construction of the new building begins, said Bill Lancaster, assistant administrator at Baptist Golden Triangle who is in charge of the projects. The building's construction will eliminate one existing employee parking lot.

Today, the state department of health approved the certificate of need for the 26,100-square-foot psychiatric and chemical dependency facility, said Lancaster. The building will be connected to the north side of the main hospital building.

The facility will serve patients on both an inpatient and outpatient basis and will include a 14-bed closed unit and two eight-bed open units, he added. One wing will be dedicated to senior adults with psychiatric and/or chemical dependency problems.

"Baptist will continue to provide inpatient psychiatric and chemical dependency services for those 18-years-old and older who need psychiatric hospitalization and/or medical detoxification," said mental health director David Johnson. "Also available is partial hospitalization, or a 'step-down' program after inpatient hospitalization, where patients stay at the facility during the day to participate in daily group therapies and therapeutic activities but go home in the afternoon," he said.

The facility offers outpatient chemical dependency services for adults with chemical dependency problems. Individual, couples and family counseling; group therapy; and medication management are also available, Johnson added.

"We are excited about having this new facility that will enable us to better meet the needs of our patients and staff in an environment-friendly atmosphere that affords safety and security," said Johnson.

The new facility will replace the aging Willowbrook Building located on Willowbrook Drive that currently houses the hospital's behavioral and mental health services. That building was constructed in the 1980s and will soon require substantial renovation and repairs, said Lancaster.

"We remain committed to those in our area with behavioral and mental health problems. Our new facility will allow us to build on our existing services in a modern facility located closer to our main hospital building," said Baptist Golden Triangle Administrator and CEO Paul Cade.

The hospital's ambulance service and outpatient rehabilitation services, which are also housed in the Willowbrook Building, will be relocated to other areas on campus, he added.

A new parking lot for patients and visitors, including additional handicapped parking, is being built along Fifth Street in front of the main hospital building, while employee parking on the north side of the building is being expanded east to Baptist Boulevard. The existing north employee parking lot will be resurfaced, restriped and improved, including correcting drainage, he added.

With 328 beds, Baptist Golden Triangle is the largest regional hospital affiliated with the Memphis, Tenn.-based Baptist Memorial Health Care system. With physicians and surgeons representing almost every medical specialty practicing at the hospital, Baptist Golden Triangle offers a wide range of comprehensive medical care to patients of all ages. The hospital also offers a variety of services to the community, including the Baptist Centers for Cancer Care, hospice for the terminally ill, an emergency room with 24-hour ambulance service, an extensive rehabilitation department, and educational programs. Baptist Golden Triangle employs more than 1,000 health care professionals. For more information, please call 662-244-1000 or visit http://goldentriangle.baptistonline.

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