Hospital launches $4.5M children’s psych center

From left: Tim McManus, CEO of Chippenham and Johnston-Willis hospitals; Betsy Blair, R.N, chief operating officer of Tucker Pavilion; and Martin Buxton at a Tucker Pavilion open house. Photos courtesy of HCA.

Betsy Blair, chief operating officer of Tucker Pavilion, speaks at the facility’s recent open house. Photos courtesy of HCA.

A Southside hospital’s new addition is open for business.

HCA Virginia’s Chippenham Hospital recently unveiled its new 9,000-square-foot Child and Adolescent Treatment Center. The $4.5 million project, part of the hospital’s Tucker Pavilion, added 24 new beds for patients ages 5 to 17 in need of treatment for psychiatric trauma and crisis stabilization.

Work on the addition at 7101 Jahnke Road began last year, and the facility officially opened last week.

Dr. Martin Buxton, chief of psychiatry at Chippenham and Johnston-Willis hospitals and medical director of Tucker Pavilion, said the addition will help the facility accept more patients. In 2014, Tucker was forced to turn away 1,160 young patients, Buxton said. And prior to opening the addition, it had to refuse another 969 patients in the first half of 2015, a 30 percent increase from the same period last year.

The new facility is focused on child-friendly spaces, including a large room for family visits and activities.

The new facility is focused on child-friendly spaces, including a large room for family visits and activities.

“There is a tremendous need,” Buxton said. “When you look at the fact that suicide is the leading cause of death from the ages of 15 to 24, and then trauma is the leading cause of that, it’s easy to see the need.”

The new unit is designed specifically to cater to children. It features a number of additions that will help physicians more easily treat their patients, including direct access to a gym, which is an important part of the treatment process, Buxton said. Previously, patients had to walk outside to get to a gym, a process that was often a challenge.

“To treat a child or adolescent successfully you have to try to recreate their life, and then monitor them in a professional way,” Buxton said. “What do they do in their free time? How do they get along with their peers? So now we get to see them all day long in as naturalistic an environment that you can create in a hospital.”

The hospital also plans to launch a new partial-hospitalization program by the end of August in which young patients can stay in the hospital during the day and go home in the evening.

Tucker Pavilion

Tucker Pavilion is part of the Chippenham Hospital campus on Jahnke Road.

Buxton said such a program can help physicians forestall hospitalization and closely monitor patients without drastically changing their living situations.

“The challenge with treating children and adolescents is that everything has to be understood in the context of their development state, and that’s constantly shifting,” Buxton said. “For a young adolescent mind, six months is an eternity.”

HCA Virginia’s other facilities in the Richmond area include Parham Doctors’ Hospital, Henrico Doctors’ Hospital, Retreat Doctors’ Hospital, John Randolph Medical Center and Spotsylvania Regional Medical Center, along with Chippenham and Johnston-Willis hospitals.

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