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Dr. Joseph D. Varley, M.D., shared preliminary drawings of the new Behavioral Health Pavilion on the Summa Health System -- Akron Campus during the Summa Foundation Annual Dinner in Florida in February.

With new facility, Summa is building the future of behavioral healthcare

By Joseph D. Varley, M.D.
Chair, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Health
James and Vanita Oelschlager Endowed Chair in Psychiatry and Behavioral Health

The construction of a new facility for the Behavioral Health Institute, a $60 million investment, will offer a full spectrum of integrated behavioral health services including inpatient treatment (60 beds over four units), hospital-based outpatient programs for addiction and mental health, the Traumatic Stress Center services and medical group outpatient services. The next phase also includes a renovated 14-bed detox unit that is scheduled to open in 2020 within the Akron Campus hospital. 

Key advantages of the new facility:

  • Enhances quality and safety for patients, staff and visitors through new, single-occupancy patient rooms in carefully designed floor plans,
  • Allows for the organized consolidation of behavioral health services in a modern state-of-the-art facility, and
  • Integrates patients and providers with the clinical and training resources of the Akron Campus. This practical and symbolic integration of Summa Health services will further enhance and coordinate care for all patients served by Summa and reduce stigma in the community for those who need care.

Summa Health is committed to preserving and honoring the legacy of Sister Ignatia and the role of St. Thomas Hospital in the treatment of alcoholism and the establishment of Alcoholics Anonymous (AA). To honor this legacy, much of the existing chapel from the St. Thomas Campus will be moved to a new, sacred space within the new facility, where it can be seen and celebrated by the community and all who have been touched by these efforts throughout the nation and the world. In keeping with the spirit of Sister Ignatia, Summa remains committed to restoring hope and bringing healing to patients struggling with emotional pain.


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