Harrington Health Care System, based in Southbridge, Mass., has recently been extending its reach, particularly in the area of behavioral health services.
Early in 2018, the hospital system will establish an out-of-state presence in Putnam, Connecticut when it opens a behavioral health clinic there.
According to Caitlin Adams, LICSW, director of mental health for the Harrington Health Care System, the hospital has been providing a variety of services to residents in Connecticut for some time.
“We’re seeing more patients from the border towns like Brooklyn, Woodstock and Putnam,” she said. A resident of Putnam, Adams is intimately aware of the needs in this geographic area and reported that Harrington identified a gap in behavioral health services in this locale.
“We looked at patients we were already serving and where they came from. We explored the 395 Corridor so we’d have a central location. Putnam is a good location to capture all the towns.”
Adams indicated that the clinic will be located at 17 Kennedy Drive in a newly built structure. “There is some unrented space and the behavioral clinic will be the first program to occupy the building,” she said.
“The clinic will occupy 5,800 square feet and will have eight therapists. They will all be licensed mental health practitioners. We already have a physician on board and are recruiting a nurse practitioner. We’re getting ramped up.”
Harrington’s behavioral health clinic in Putnam will serve a broad patient population that includes pediatrics to geriatrics and will offer several types of therapy, according to Adams.
In addition to trauma-focused therapy, the clinic will utilize play and family therapy and cognitive behavioral therapy and will provide substance abuse treatment, she added.
Adams currently oversees Harrington-run clinics in Dudley, Charlton and Southbridge, Massachusetts, as well as school-based operations, which provide clinical counseling and therapy for children under the age of 18.
Harrington Recovery Services offers several programs that include intensive outpatient treatment, partial hospitalization, diagnostic evaluations, day and evening individual and group therapy sessions, DUI classes, family addiction support groups, Suboxone and psychiatric medication management.
Harrington also has a 14-bed adult psychiatric unit in Southbridge and a co-occurring diagnosis unit with 16 adult beds at the Webster campus. “Putnam will fold into the service component and I’ll have an office there,” she said.
“We are offering something that doesn’t currently exist,” Adams reported, pointing out that Day Kimball, the local hospital, does not provide child and adolescent psychiatric services. “It’s important for the community, including children and families, to have access to different services,” she said.
Although the clinic is not officially open yet, Harrington practitioners are inviting people who need services to contact the hospital now. “We can get them started here and then transition to Putnam when that clinic opens,” said Adams.
The clinic is scheduled to open early in 2018. “Construction, which is underway, will influence the date,” Adams said.
By Phyllis Hanlon