In 2010, the slumping state budget forced the Missouri Department of Mental Health to close the emergency room and 50 short-term beds at the Metropolitan Psychiatric Center.
The move saved $16 million. But it also forced those in need of immediate mental health treatment into local hospitals, which are not designed for those in crisis.
With the help of the area’s two largest hospital systems and some state support, there are now 16 beds available for patients with psychiatric needs who have already been screened at other hospital emergency rooms. Beginning this fall, patients needing urgent mental health care should be able to go straight to the new Psychiatric Stabilization Center.
The PSC is a temporary fix - but its creators are also hoping it helps shift the treatment paradigm.
SSM Cardinal Glennon Children's Medical Center - one of the hospitals in SSM Health Care's St. Louis-area group of medical facilities.
For the first time in its 25-year history, SSM Health Care no longer has a nun as its top executive officer.
Sister Mary Jean Ryan will remain as chairman of the board of SSM. But she says she's reaching an age, 73, when she would prefer to step away from the day-to-day operations of the system, which owns 15 hospitals and two nursing homes in four states, including Missouri.