Expected benefits of expanded patient services and technology advances awaited Artesia General Hospital behavioral health patients as new offices were planned in Artesia and Carlsbad.
Office space for behavioral health seemed temporary for years at the northern Eddy County medical facility, said Dr. Joe P. Salgado, AGH’s chief executive officer (CEO).
He said space once occupied by the DaVita Kidney Dialysis Center on the hospital’s west side would be the new location for behavioral health services.
Three provider offices, two examination rooms, a room for teen counseling and family grief counseling are part of the new office setup at Artesia General Hospital’s main location at 702 North 13th Street.
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Salgado said new office space for behavioral health was part of an overall masterplan for Artesia General Hospital as administrators plan for future growth.
Artesia General Hospital presented plans during a townhall meeting April 19 in Artesia.
Jeremy Kern, Artesia General Hospital project manager, said the new location had a private patient entrance and offered improved technology bases for telehealth meetings for Carlsbad and Artesia patients.
“We want to be forward thinking with how we’re going to meet those needs,” Kern said.
“We’re expanding to better suit the needs of our community,” he said.
New office not limited to Artesia
Artesia General Hospital offered behavioral services for Carlsbad area residents at 1101 West Pierce Street.
Behavioral health services will soon be offered at 1410 North Eighth Street in Carlsbad, said Rhonda Johnson, Artesia General Hospitalspokesperson.
She said an opening date was not set for the new location.
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“We’re relocating to a new space,” Kern said. “It’s more updated and modern.”
Ron Haugen, behavioral health nurse practitioner, said the new offices and telehealth technology boosted mental health services in underserved communities like Carlsbad and Artesia.
“It’s like a Zoom (online) meeting with a bigger screen,” he said. “It’s that interaction action digitally and that fills in a lot of gaps.”
Haugen said COVID-19 accelerated changes in behavioral health.
“We didn’t have anyone in the office. Patients were able to be seen from their own home. We would be in our home or office,” he said.
“This is going to be a great place for us to work with because we are an underserved community,” Haugen said.
He said the new locations eased methods of help for behavioral health patients.
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Mike Smith can be reached at 575-628-5546 or by email at [email protected] or @ArgusMichae on Twitter.
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This article originally appeared on Carlsbad Current-Argus: Artesia General Hospital plans new office space for behavioral health