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Local behavioral health hospital now operational after hurricanes

Published: Mar. 22, 2021 at 8:50 PM CDT
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LAKE CHARLES, La. (KPLC) - Opened in 2018, the Archer Institute, a behavioral health hospital that’s part of the Lake Charles Memorial Health System, sustained significant damage during Hurricane Laura.

Although there was no one in the building at the time of the hurricane, damages to the pharmacy, cafeteria, and administrative offices left the building unusable. However, Chief Nursing and Chief Operating Officer for Lake Charles Memorial Hospital Gerald Bryant says there was an urgent need to get services back up and running.

“We continued quickly to see a need for adult behavioral health,” Bryant said. “We also didn’t see initially a big need for child and adolescence psychiatry. However, we did feel that that was going to be short-lived, and sure enough it was.”

Working with the state and passing inspections, they were able to open the adolescent and child unit in November.

“About a month later, we were able to get, first of January, end of December, we were able to get the 28 beds open on the adult side of the unit.”

Now all patient care units are fully operational, but due to the damage, Bryant says they had to make adjustments

“We had to do some things a little differently because the support spaces still aren’t up. For instance, our food service is running out of our women’s hospital, and then we truck it over, maintaining the proper temperatures for the patients at the Archer Institute; an alternate site that met our requirements for pharmacy, some of those kinds of things, because we still don’t have our administrative spaces and kitchen up and running.”

Full repairs at the Archer Institute are expected to be complete in about six months.

In the meantime, Bryant explains they’re planning on making more strides in behavioral healthcare as a whole for Southwest Louisiana.

“We’re doing some other things that would allow us to provide, what I would consider, better detox care, something that’s not widely available in our community, as we go forward and help us to do a better job, providing a better space for medically complex patients with behavioral health disorders.”

For more information regarding the Archer Institute of Memorial, click HERE.

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