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Health and Medicine

Stark County's Mercy Medical Center closes its psychiatric unit
CEO says new healthcare environment prompted a review of all hospital operations

Tim Rudell
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In The Region:
Canton’s Mercy Medical Center will no longer offer psychiaric treatment.  It's ten-bed “Inpatient Behavior Health Service” will be gone in just over two weeks.  WKSU’s Tim Rudell reports.
Finding mental health alternatives

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After operational review
Calling the psychiatric unit “underutilized,” Mercy CEO Thomas Cecconi wrote the following on the hospital website announcing the shut-down: “Dear Community.  Like all hospitals across the nation, Mercy Medical Center must prepare itself to meet the demands of the new national health-care environment.”  

Possibilities foreseen
Paula Mastroianni of Stark County’s Mental Health Board says the agency anticipated that the health care overhaul might force decisions like Mercy’s. “A couple of years ago we forged a relationship with SUMMA.  We have not put anybody in Akron yet — we haven’t needed to — but those beds are ready to go.  Also, we have worked for a long time with Aultman. So, might there be bumps along the road as they close their beds down? Perhaps; but we’re really pretty confident that we’ll be able to pick this up and run with it with a pretty seamless transaction.”

Going forward
After February 15th Mercy’s emergency room will see patients with psychiatric issues; but only for triage; they will be referred elsewhere for care
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