Regions opens $36M mental health center

Regions Hospital in St. Paul has opened a new $36 million mental health center designed to improve care for patients and their families.

The new building replaces a facility originally built in 1964 as a nurses' dorm.

Regions' Vice President Tom Geskermann said Regions is trying to develop a continuum of mental services including outpatient, inpatient and urgent care.

"We receive patients that have been hospitalized multiple times or we also receive patients that this is their first episode of care ever," Geskermann said. "It's how we can make sure we engage the patient in that care process, engage the family in that care process or their friends in trying to avoid further hospitalizations."

Geskermann said the new center will double the size of the former center and contain 100 beds with private rooms.

"We have some small areas that patients can meet with their family members or their friends," he said. "And now we'll have some distinct areas that will afford patients both the dignity as well as the privacy that they deserve."