LRMC planning to open Behavioral Health Unit in 2018
January 3, 2018


In an effort to give its patients and the community more options, Lehigh Regional Medical Center is expected to open a new unit by the middle of the year.

The new addition - a Behavioral Health Unit - will help to combat major depression in people age 55 and over by using a form of therapy called electroconvulsive therapy.

"Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) remains the standard of care for treatment-resistant major depression," Ivan Mazzorana, the medical director of the unit, said in an email. "ECT involves a series of treatments under brief anesthesia that ultimately results in wellness by resetting circuits in the brain, much like rebooting a computer."

According to Mazzorana, there is no risk but plenty of reward.

"Our goal is to have a place of healing that will provide all of the necessary conditions and expertise to help those in need be successful," he said. "I strongly believe our unit will be just that."

The 27-bed unit will be located on the Third Floor of the hospital and is scheduled to be completed in June. There will be a team effort to design the unit.

"We are working with architects, consultants, providers and hospital staff to have a solid blueprint of the new unit," Gary Bell, chief executive officer for the hospital, said in an email.

The cost for the new unit had yet to be determined as of press time.

Officials reported that it is nothing new to add units to a hospital to expand its services.

"Lehigh Regional Medical Center is a member of Prime Healthcare and it is a normal occurrence for health systems like ours to add units," Jennifer Marshal, marketing manager for the hospital, said in an email. "Prime Healthcare has 45 hospitals in 14 states."

The hospital sees a need for the addition through the patients that it treats on a daily basis.

"We are looking forward to fulfilling this need in Southwest Florida," Mazzorana said.

Lehigh Regional Medical Center is at 1500 Lee Blvd.


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