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The Newsroom

Groundbreaking for Behavioral Health Services Building

On November 3, 2016, El Camino Hospital celebrated the groundbreaking of a new facility for Mental Health and Addiction Services. The construction of the psychiatric inpatient building on the hospital’s Mountain View campus is intended not only to replace an outdated structure but to lead the way toward a collaborative, regional solution to the mental health care crisis.
The event was attended by community leaders and elected officials, including State Senator Jerry Hill and Assemblymember Rich Gordon, as well as city councilmembers from Mountain View and Sunnyvale. “It’s critical that we have beds close to home, so patients can stay connected to friends, families, and caregivers,” said Santa Clara County Supervisor Joe Simitian, who was among the speakers at the groundbreaking.
The 54,000 square foot, two-story building will be sited on land adjacent to the existing facility, proudly and visibly integrated into the campus, a conscious effort to erode the stigma of mental illness and treatment. The building’s increased capacity, El Camino Hospital’s contribution toward easing the regional shortage and ensuring more local residents can receive treatment in their home county, further affirms the hospital’s commitment to this vital work.
“Mental health services have been offered at El Camino Hospital since 1961. As our community has evolved and expanded over time, so have our mental health and addictions programs,” said Neal Cohen, MD, chair of the El Camino Hospital Board of Directors. “The new building will enable us to address a shortage of inpatient psychiatric beds in our community.”
The design of the new building reflects the hospital’s unique approach to mental healthcare: patient and family-centered, with the adaptability to respond to the changing needs of the community. Nine of the 36 beds will be dedicated to a specialty women’s unit.
“We will be the second hospital in the nation to provide a specialized inpatient treatment section dedicated for women with perinatal mood condition/post-partum depression,” explained Michael Fitzgerald, director of Behavioral Health Services at El Camino Hospital. “This will complement our outpatient program that is dedicated to this population, and will help close a significant treatment gap for women who would benefit from a safe setting during the early stage of treatment. El Camino Hospital is dedicated to treating women of child-bearing age, in recognition of the impact successful treatment will have on both current and future generations.”
Fulfilling the Promise, El Camino Hospital Foundation’s fundraising initiative for mental health, is the effort behind securing philanthropic support for the new inpatient facility and expanding specialty outpatient programs for adolescents, seniors, women of childrearing age, and people with addictions. Construction of the new facility is expected to be completed in late 2018.
Donna and John Shoemaker, chairs of the El Camino Hospital Foundation Philanthropy Council for Mental Health & Addiction Services, shared ”By proudly putting our name on this project and supporting the new facility, we along with other donors and community members are taking a stand on accepting and treating mental illness like any other health condition.”