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Press Releases

NYC Health + Hospitals/Woodhull to Open Expanded Comprehensive Psychiatric Emergency Program

Sep 07, 2018

(From l. to r.) Louis Annunziata, Chief of Contracts; Yehzekel Lilu, AED for Psychiatry; Richard Flateau, Chair of Community Board 3; Julio Salazar rep. for U.S. Rep. Nydia Velazquez; Jennifer Gutiérrez rep. for Councilman Antonio Reynoso; William Foley, NYC Health + Hospitals Senior VP Acute Care Operations; Assemblyman Joseph R. Lentol; Josephine Bolus, Board Member; Dealice Fuller, Chair of Community Board 1; Gregory Calliste, Woodhull CEO; Anthony DiVittis, Woodhull Public Affairs; Leonel Urcuyo, MD, Chief of Psychiatry; Assemblywoman Maritza Davila; Councilwoman Carlina Rivera; Lynn Shulman, liaison for NYC Council Speaker Corey Johnson; and Woodhull CAB members Mary McClellan, Antonia Ortiz, and Dorothy Wright.
Brooklyn, NY

NYC Health + Hospitals/Woodhull cut the ceremonial ribbon today on its new and expanded Comprehensive Psychiatric Emergency Program (CPEP). Scheduled to open for patients on September 12, the new CPEP will more than double the current space from 4,230 square feet to 9,267 square feet, increase the number of extended observation beds from three to six, and accommodate a larger therapist staff. The expansion reflects both a response to the community’s growing need for behavioral health services and the health system’s ongoing transformation, with its focus on increased access to services.

This expansion will enable staff to manage the average daily census of 20 people in a safe, therapeutic environment. Approximately 550 patients seek CPEP care monthly, and the existing space has been inadequate to comfortably meet that demand. Located on the fifth floor, the enlarged unit will immediately eliminate the overcrowding of the old unit, providing space to care for patients in psychiatric distress.

“The new space is a much better way to manage, treat, and follow up with patients presenting with psychiatric emergencies,” said Leonel Urcuyo, MD, chief of Psychiatry at NYC Health + Hospitals/Woodhull. “It offers a comprehensive array of services. From the moment a patient arrives, he or she can be seen and remain in the CPEP unit up to 72 hours, if needed, and possibly averting the need for inpatient hospitalization. Each patient is cared for by a multidisciplinary team comprised of a psychiatrist, nurse, internist, social worker, and other therapists.”

“We are proud of the efforts our staff has made in opening this much-needed service to the community,” said Gregory Calliste, chief executive officer of NYC Health + Hospitals/Woodhull. “Our hospital has been a leader in behavioral health, and the new CPEP unit is a further example of our commitment to the community’s mental health needs.”

“This new state-of-the-art facility offers a more efficient way to treat, manage, and care for members of our community,” said Congresswoman Yvette D. Clarke. “The new CPEP will provide much-needed resources to fulfill the growing need for behavioral health services within Central Brooklyn. I applaud NYC Health + Hospitals/Woodhull’s leadership, doctors, nurses, and staff on fulfilling their commitment to increase health care access. I remain grateful for the hard work, compassion, and care they provide to our most vulnerable populations.”

“The expansion of comprehensive psychiatric emergency services unveiled today reflects NYC Health + Hospitals/Woodhull’s longstanding commitment to serving all New Yorkers, regardless of one’s ability to pay,” said Congresswoman Nydia M. Velázquez. “With the community’s need for behavioral health care on the rise, these new beds and resources will make a meaningful difference for those seeking care.”

“Behavioral health is an often overlooked and under-appreciated field in community health care offerings,” said State Senator Martin Malavé Dilan. “The standards of psychiatric care are more demanding than many primary practices can accommodate. However, the need for psychiatric care will be greater, and access more difficult in populated areas. NYC Health + Hospitals/Woodhull understands that greater time, staff, and resources are needed here. I commend them for delivering for North Brooklyn.”

“As hospitals throughout our city and the nation continue to adapt to 21st century medical needs, access to quality psychiatric care is often becoming more challenging to find, which is why it’s exciting to see the Comprehensive Psychiatric Emergency Program Unit at NYC Health + Hospitals/Woodhull re-open with a brand-new renovation” said New York City Councilwoman Carlina Rivera, chair of the Council’s Committee on Hospitals. “I want to thank Health + Hospitals for continuing to invest in behavioral health care and ensuring New Yorkers always have an option in their public hospital system.”

“This is just the latest example of innovative health care investment that will make all the difference in the lives of New Yorkers,” said Council Member Stephen Levin, chair of the General Welfare Committee. “Access to care, especially for mental health needs, is critical if our community is to continue to thrive. I applaud NYC Health + Hospitals and Woodhull team for their steadfast commitment to expanding access to health care.”

“The expansion of the Comprehensive Psychiatric Emergency Program (CPEP) at NYC Health + Hospitals/Woodhull demonstrates the hospital’s commitment to providing comprehensive mental and physical care to the patients it serves, many of whom are residents in my district,” said Council Member Antonio Reynoso. “The CPEP expansion will enable the hospital to provide even greater care to a broader range of patients, and I am glad to have contributed to this project by providing financial support through a budgetary allocation. I thank NYC Health + Hospitals/Woodhull for the vital role that they play in the health of the community and look forward to the work that they will be able to accomplish with a newly expanded CPEP unit.”

“In too many communities like Central Brooklyn the mental health needs of residents go unmet,” said Council Member Robert E. Cornegy, Jr. “Fortunately, institutions like NYC Health + Hospitals/Woodhull understand the critical importance of bolstering the care available to those with mental health needs. This new Comprehensive Psychiatric Emergency Program unit is emblematic not just of NYC Health + Hospitals/Woodhull’s commitment to increasing access to services, but of their commitment to making Central Brooklyn a better, healthier community.”

“I want to commend the leadership of NYC Health + Hospitals/Woodhull on their efforts to improve psychiatric care services to the community,” said Council Member Mathieu Eugene. “Our residents deserve access to the very best health care facilities available so that their mental health issues may be properly diagnosed in a secure environment. The new and expanded Comprehensive Psychiatric Emergency Program unit at NYC Health + Hospitals/Woodhull is a crucial step in providing a safe and therapeutic environment to our residents who require emergency psychiatric care.”