Behavioral health now open at WellSpan emergency department

Margarita Cambest
  • WellSpan York Hospital opened a new emergency behavioral health suite Friday.
  • The 10-room unit has six individual rooms, two quiet rooms and two interview rooms.

WellSpan York Hospital opened the doors on a new behavioral health suite at the hospital’s emergency department Friday.

“We know that behavioral health continues to be a significant and growing community health need across York County,” hospital president Keith Noll said in a news release. “Our goal with this suite is to provide a high level of specialized care to our behavioral health patients in a safe, private and caring environment.”

About half of the 400 behavioral health patients who come through the emergency department’s doors each month are admitted for additional treatment and care.

The 10-room unit has six individual rooms, two quiet rooms and two interview rooms, designed for those awaiting admission to a behavioral health facility. There’s also a crisis intervention center where patients can wait to be admitted.

The WellSpan Behavioral Health building is shown on Edgar Street in York on Friday, Jan. 29, 2016.

Construction at the hospital started in August 2014. Since then, the emergency room has undergone a multi-year, $50 million renovation. The York Hospital Auxiliary pledged $1 million to the project.

In the release, Phil Hess said the behavioral health suite reflects WellSpan’s continued commitment to behavioral health. Hess is senior vice president of WellSpan and president of Philhaven, a nonprofit behavioral health organization that joined WellSpan on Jan. 1.

“Whether it’s the emergency department suite or our continued efforts to coordinate mental and physical health in physician offices or our work to recruit the best and brightest behavioral health professionals — WellSpan is committed to providing comprehensive and integrated resources to meet the behavioral health needs of our patients and our communities,” Hess said.

Work on the department isn’t complete just yet. The final phase of the department’s renovation includes an expanded emergency transitional care unit and a sexual assault forensic exam suite. The project is scheduled for completion in early 2017.

For more on the WellSpan York Hospital Emergency Department renovation project, visit