The Nevada County Behavioral health Crisis Team has experienced a dramatic increase in the number of 5150 evaluations for involuntary psychiatric holds during the last several years. There has also been a correspondingly significant increase in mental health patients accessing the Emergency Department at the hospital. Representatives from County Health and Human Services Departments and Sierra Nevada Memorial Hospital have been meeting to cooperatively plan development of a new Crisis Stabilization Unit that would take those patients out of the Emergency Room and into a specialized treatment program. Rebecca Slade is the Nevada County Interim Director of Behavioral Health who went before Nevada County Supervisors today asking them to approve moving forward with the agreement with Dignity Health-Sierra Nevada Memorial Hospital
The County will enter into two agreements with Sierra Nevada Memorial Hospital. One is a ground lease for the location of a modular to house the CSU near the hospital emergency room, the second is an Operational Agreement to delineate the roles and responsibilities of each party. Sierra Nevada Memorial Hospital Vice President of Medical Affairs, Dr. Brian Evans says the need for a Crisis Stabilization Unit has been steadily growing.
click here to listen to Dr. Brian Evans
Nevada County Health and Human Services Agency Interim Director, Michael Heggarty says a one time Crisis Facility Grant for $500,000 will pay for construction, equipment, and start up costs. A Crisis Personnel Grant for $2.4 Million will pay for new crisis staff for the next three years. Sierra Nevada Memorial Hospital will contribute $240,000 annually. And the CSU staff will bill Medi-Cal, Medicare and private insurance for services offered in the Unit. There are no County general fund dollars required in the Agreement. The new Crisis Stabilization Unit is planned to open in September 2015.