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Woodhull Hospital Expands Psychiatric Emergency Program

The expansion will more than double the current space and is a response to the community’s growing need for behavioral health services.
Woodhull Hospital, BK Reader
Photo courtesy of NYC Health + Hospitals/Woodhull

Woodhull Hospital celebrated on Friday the expansion of its Comprehensive Psychiatric Emergency Program (CPEP) with a ceremonial ribbon cutting.

Scheduled to open for patients on September 12, the new CPEP will more than double the current space from 4,230 square feet to 9,267 square feet and accommodate a larger therapist staff.

"The new space is a much better way to manage, treat, and follow up with patients presenting with psychiatric emergencies," said Leonel Urcuyo, MD, chief of Psychiatry at NYC Health + Hospitals/Woodhull. "It offers a comprehensive array of services. From the moment a patient arrives, he or she can be seen and remain in the CPEP unit for up to 72 hours, if needed, and possibly averting the need for inpatient hospitalization. Each patient is cared for by a multidisciplinary team comprised of a psychiatrist, nurse, internist, social worker and other therapists."

The expansion is a response to the community's growing need for behavioral health services, according to Woodhull. Hospital data shows that approximately 550 patients seek CPEP care every month. The expanded unit will eliminate the overcrowding of the old unit, providing more space to care for patients in psychiatric distress.

NYC Health + Hospitals/Woodhull's Department of Behavioral Health provides comprehensive mental health services that include inpatient as well as outpatient psychiatric care. The department is staffed by a multidisciplinary team of psychiatrists, licensed clinical psychologists, nurses and social workers who work in collaboration to develop recovery plans tailored to meet the clients' individual needs.

"In too many communities like Central Brooklyn the mental health needs of residents go unmet," said Council Member Robert E. Cornegy, Jr. "This new Comprehensive Psychiatric Emergency Program unit is emblematic not just of NYC Health + Hospitals/Woodhull's commitment to increasing access to services, but of their commitment to making Central Brooklyn a better, healthier community."