NNRH Behavioral Health Program Status

January 27, 2015

January 27, 2015 –ELKO, NV-

Northeastern Nevada Regional Hospital announced today that its Behavioral Health Unit will close according to Rick Palagi, Chief Executive Officer.

“Tough, tough decision but the correct one given our extensive review and measured against the whole range of community mental health and substance abuse needs,” Palagi said. “We have been serving a very narrow type of patient that does not really meet the community needs,” he added.

In 2011, the 16-bed (NNRH) Behavioral Health Program was opened and has since been serving a very narrow slice of patients that were in need of behavioral health treatment.  During a period of stand-by, where the unit had zero patients, NNRH took the opportunity to engage consultants, physicians, and staff to assess the program’s continued viability and to assess the community’s needs in the mental health arena.  The outcome of that review has been a decision that was incredibly difficult for the NNRH leadership team to make.  Effective immediately the Behavioral Health Program will close.

“We discovered that the type of patients we were seeing were best treated in more intensive, outpatient settings, not being hospitalized,” explained Palagi. “We are looking to community partnerships to see if we can help bring about such a program.”

The northeastern Nevada region has significant mental health and substance abuse treatment needs that the Behavioral Health Program was only serving in a very small capacity. The hospital has been unsuccessful in recruiting a psychiatrist to the community which is highly desirable for an inpatient program. 

The hospital is not anticipating any layoff of staff. Other opportunities are available within the hospital.