Aultman Hospital in Canton closed the doors of its psychiatric unit this week. It was the last remaining inpatient psychiatric care facility in Stark County.
The decision to close was made because new regulations to psychiatric care would require $2 million in renovations to the unit.
Instead, the hospital decided to focus its care strategy on emergency room treatment for more urgent cases and outpatient care for long-term issues.
Steve Jewell, the former president of the Ohio Psychiatric Physicians Association, says he’s worried that, when patients do need inpatient treatment, they will be placed in hospitals farther away from their families.
“In the midst of that crisis the one thing they need the most is the support of their family if they’re gonna recover from this. And if you happen to be hospitalized in a hospital that’s two or three counties away from where you live, it makes it exceptionally difficult for the family to be meaningfully engaged in the treatment process.”
Jewell said this is part of a larger trend occurring at hospitals across the country.