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Glendora Community Hospital Plans to Convert to In-Patient Behavioral Health Facility

Glendora Community Hospital (GCH) today announced plans to expand behavioral health services at the hospital to address the growing need for senior inpatient behavioral health care in Los Angeles County. The expansion, which is currently underway, will more than double the number of dedicated behavioral health beds at the hospital.

Glendora Community Hospital currently operates the only in-patient geriatric psychiatric facility within an 18-mile radius in East San Gabriel Valley, providing a crucial safety net service to a vulnerable and growing population of seniors. The hospital intends to expand to 44 behavioral health beds as part of the conversion, with additional beds and services potentially added in the future.

“The demand for in-patient behavioral health care continues to grow, not just in East San Gabriel Valley but throughout the state,” said Parrish Scarboro, CEO of Glendora Community Hospital. “With our current behavioral health unit frequently at capacity, converting the hospital is the best way to further serve the needs of the community.”

Glendora Community Hospital is a non-profit hospital owned and operated by the Prime Healthcare Foundation, part of the nationally recognized Prime Healthcare system.

Los Angeles County is in dire need of hospital beds for mental health care patients. Troubled by the lack of resources for psychiatric patients, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors recently directed the Department of Mental Health to develop a plan to increase the number of mental health beds in the county.

“For far too long, the number of mental health hospital beds has dwindled, leaving a significant number of patients and their families without access to the appropriate level of care,” said Los Angeles County Supervisor Kathryn Barger. “That is why the Board of Supervisors has directed the L.A. County Department of Mental Health to draft a plan for creating additional mental health hospital beds. We welcome efforts like the expansion of mental health beds at Glendora Community Hospital, which are helping to address this critical need for our communities.”

The national target is a minimum of 50 psychiatric beds per 100,000 residents; Los Angeles County has only 22.7 beds. Since 1995, the state has lost 37 psychiatric care facilities, either through the elimination of psychiatric in-patient care or hospital closure. In Los Angeles County, 4.3 percent of adults suffer from a serious mental illness, according to the California Healthcare Foundation, while statewide 62.8 percent of adults with mental illness did not receive mental health services between 2011 and 2015.

The conversion to behavioral health will result in the closing of the hospital’s six-bed Emergency Department and all acute care services in mid-September. These services will continue to be available nearby in other Prime Healthcare hospitals including San Dimas Community Hospital, Montclair Hospital Medical Center and Chino Valley Medical Center. Specialty care doctors who practice at Glendora Community Hospital also generally practice at other regional hospitals, so continuity of patient care should not be disrupted. Employees whose positions may be eliminated will be provided outplacement services and given opportunities to transfer to other job openings with Prime Healthcare’s hospitals.

GCH has seen a yearly decline in the number of acute care patients, including emergency patients, with its acute care facilities operating at between 10 to 15 percent capacity. The declining use of GCH’s acute care services is likely related to the fact that there is an abundance of acute care hospitals in the area. GCH is one of four acute care hospitals within a 4.2-mile radius, including a hospital which is located less than a mile away from GCH. There are 11 acute care hospitals within a 15-mile radius of GCH, and 26 within a 25-mile radius, providing a total of 625 emergency room beds to serve the community’s emergency needs.

Meanwhile, GCH has developed a strong reputation for its behavioral health services, which are under increasing demand. Many patients are accepted at GCH on referral from nearby hospitals, which don’t treat severe mental health patients on an inpatient basis.

“Glendora Community Hospital is locally preferred for its care of senior behavioral health patients,” said Dr. Cyrus Nasserian, a psychiatrist and Co-Medical Director of Behavioral Health at GCH. “Coordination between behavioral health and primary care providers that includes a constant exchange of information is very important at every point of the patient’s journey, and leads to improved patient experience and quality care.”

Public notices are being issued, and members of the community will have 90 days to comment on the proposed conversion of Glendora Community Hospital.