Kettering Behavioral Medicine Center
Photo: Chris Stewart
Photo: Chris Stewart

Kettering Health moving some adolescent behavioral services to Dayton Children’s

The Kettering Behavioral Medicine Center will move its inpatient adolescent psychiatric services to Dayton Children’s Hospital next summer.

Dayton Children’s is building a 24-bed inpatient unit and opened a behaviral crisis center last July, according to a news release. The transition will occur when the new unit at Dayton Children’s opens sometime in July 2019.

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“We are dedicated to the relentless pursuit of optimal health for all children within our reach,” Deborah Feldman, president and CEO of Dayton Children’s Hospital, said in a prepared statement. “We see mental health as a crucial element to that mission and will do whatever we can to support the needs of our kids and their families.”

The move will allow Kettering Behavioral Medicine Center to expand its adult inpatient, intensive outpatient and outpatient services to meet the increasing demands. KBMC will continue to provide outpatient therapy services for children, according to the center.

“We are committed to doing what is in the best interests of our patients and our community,” Roy Chew, president of Kettering Health Network, said in a prepared statement. “As Dayton Children’s expands services focused on child and adolescent behavioral health, it gives us an opportunity to focus our resources on adult behavioral health services which are so desperately needed in southwest Ohio.”

The American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry has reported that 43 U.S. states, including Ohio and surrounding states, have a severe shortage of practicing child and adolescent psychiatrists.

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Dayton Children’s Hospital said last year it evaluated nearly 1,000 children in severe crisis and hospital officials have said there is a need for improved mental health services for children.

As of a year ago, there were 22 beds at Kettering Behavioral Medicine Center for children getting behavioral health treatment. Upper Valley Medical Center, a Troy hospital affiliated with Premier Health, used to have an adolescent mental program which closed down a year ago. Upper Valley Medical Center said it closed the unit after it couldn’t find a replacement for its outgoing adolescent inpatient psychiatrist.

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