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Central Regional Hospital

Central Regional Hospital in the News

Central Regional Hospital Director Responsible for 2,200 Employees

The director of Central Regional Hospital is not a newcomer to the town of Butner. He’s also not a stranger to the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services.  CRH director image

Mike Hennike retired from the state after serving for many years as the Director of Murdoch Center. 

He said in a recent interview he made the decision to come out of retirement to become the head of the newest mental health hospital in the state in order to take up the challenge to make Central Regional Hospital a state of the art facility which could become a model not just for the three North Carolina regional mental health facilities, but to become one of the best such hospitals in the entire country.

He said, "The challenge wouldn’t be an easy one.” The state legislature, after many months of wrangling, finally picked Butner as the location for the hospital that was designed to replace the aging John Umstead Hospital and Dorothea Dix Hospital in Raleigh.

When it was originally constructed, Dorothea Dix had been a leading edge hospital and a model of pride for the whole state. That sense of pride remained with the staff of the Raleigh Hospital.  That staff didn’t want to lose their hospital and be forced to commute to a new location in Granville County where the faces and some of the operating procedures were different from what they were accustomed to experiencing.

crh imageAfter the new building was completed the patients at John Umstead Hospital were moved in first.  Then gradually many of the staff and all but about 30 of the patients at Dorothea Dix were moved to Central Regional which is now the largest of the three North Carolina Regional Hospitals.

The other two hospitals are Broughton Hospital, in Morganton, and Cherry Hospital in Goldsboro. 

Central Regional was built on land between Veasey Road and Central Avenue extension.

Model Hospital

Hennike said the hospital has the potential to be a model state of the art facility for the whole country.

A goal is to reduce restrictive measures required for use on patients.

“We crossed a major hurdle with the consolidation of patients from Dorothea Dix Hospital,” the director said.

Most of the patients at the Raleigh hospital have now been moved with the exception of 30 patients.

In a time of 9.8 unemployment, the consolidation of the Dix staff which once numbered as many as 600 employees has been difficult. The number of employees at Central Regional is 1,896 people.

The hospital administration oversees a total of approximately 2,200 employees including those still at the Dix Hospital campus.

The hospital maintains a total of 384 beds for patients in units which includes the Adult Admissions, the Community Transition, Medical Services, Forensic Services, and Children’s Admission units.

Central Regional Hospital is operated by the Division of State-Operated Healthcare Facilities (DSOHF) and the Division of Mental Health, Developmental Disabilities and Substance Abuse Services of the Department of Health & Human Services.

Central Regional Hospital serves as a psychiatry residency training site for both the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Duke University.

Both universities conduct clinical research programs at the hospital. CRH provides training rotations for medical students, nurses, social workers, psychologists, chaplains, physical therapists, occupational therapists, recreation therapists and a variety of other disciplines. They are also affiliated with and provide training rotations of nursing students for Vance-Granville Community College and Watts School of Nursing.

The hospital is accredited by the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations. The Joint Commission is a national voluntary accrediting agency for hospitals. The hospital also is certified to provide treatment by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, which is part of the United States Department of Health and Human Services.

The stated mission of Central Regional Hospital is to provide high quality, integrated, person-centered treatment to children, adolescents and adults with psychiatric disorders with a focus on safety while promoting wellness and offering support to patients and their families consistent with the principles of recovery and trauma informed care.

Organization of Clinical Service Units

Acute Adult Unit (AAU):

The Acute Adult Unit of CRH provides admission, treatment, and discharge services to all patients admitted to the hospital between the ages of 18 and 64 years old. The primary purposes of the unit are:

  1. To provide careful clinical evaluation and treatment of patients; to implement programs of therapeutic intervention which are grounded in a continuously updated knowledge of the pathophysiology and psychosocial precipitants of mental illnesses; and to work closely with community agencies and families so as to facilitate continuity of treatment as patients are discharged;
  2. To offer stimulating and informative educational experiences to students of all clinical care disciplines so that these students may be well-prepared to later join in delivering services to mentally ill patients; and
  3. To develop and support clinical research initiatives which display a potential for providing better understanding of, and more effective treatments for, mental illnesses.

Geriatric Services Unit (GSU):

The Geriatric Services Unit admits patients 65 years old and older. The unit serves two broadly defined populations. The first is non-demented patients in the geriatric age range with any general psychiatric disorder such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder or delusional disorder.

The second population consists of patients with various types of dementia who have behavioral disturbance related either to the dementia or a pre-existing psychiatric disorder, and that behavior disturbance has made them temporarily unmanageable at home or in a community care facility.

GSU offers comprehensive evaluation and treatment of patients with acute psychiatric illnesses. Individuals with dementia receive comprehensive diagnostic evaluation and they receive a functional assessment to determine the level of support and structure that they will need in the community.

Medical Services:

Medical Services provides medical evaluation and care in three venues: medical services to patients residing on the psychiatric treatment units, the Medical Services Unit and the Employee/Patient Specialty Clinic.

Community Transition Unit (CTU):

The mission of the Community Transition Unit is to provide state-of-the-art assessment, diagnosis, treatment, and rehabilitation for patients with severe, chronic or treatment-resistant psychiatric illnesses. These patients require more comprehensive and extended services to return to the community with a reduced risk of relapse and readmission. Treatment efforts are aimed at reducing and managing symptoms while strengthening the practical skills needed to return to community living.

This unit does not accept direct admissions. Patients are accepted for transfer from an adult acute services where short-term intervention has proved inadequate to allow the person to be safely or effectively served in a less restrictive setting in the community.

Child/Adolescent Unit (CAU):

The Child/Adolescent Unit evaluates and treats children up to the age of 18. CAU has two divisions:

  1. Children's Services: Children's Services provide intensive inpatient treatment and emergency diagnostic and treatment services for children between the ages of 5 and 12 years old. It includes a comprehensive educational program. Patients are admitted from the entire State.
  2. Adolescent Services: The Adolescent Services provide intensive evaluation and treatment for adolescents between the ages of 13 and 17 years old on an emergency and short-term basis. It includes a comprehensive education program and serves the Central Region of the State.

All programs within the Child/Adolescent Services provide comprehensive medical, psychiatric, psychological, social and educational services. All of the specialty services described in this document are available to this population. If an additional specialty service is needed, referral is made to an outside agency, such as UNC Hospitals. Special attention is paid to evaluation and planning with the child's family or guardian and other community resources.

Screening and Admissions Unit (SAU):

The Screening and Admission Unit is in continuous operation, with three shifts of employee staffing. The Clinical Director, a psychiatrist, oversees the operation of the unit and a Registered Nurse supervises healthcare technicians and clerical personnel. Physicians evaluate patients, write treatment orders, and perform physical examinations 24 hours per day, seven days per week.

Once a patient is evaluated, a decision is made to admit the person or release him/her back to the home community for outpatient follow-up. If the decision is to admit, an initial diagnosis is made, admission orders are written and any required Qualified Physician Examination statement needed by the court is completed. The patient is escorted to one of the treatment patient care units by staff from that unit. Patients who do not meet psychiatric admission criteria, are returned to the community and the Screening and Admission Unit staff communicates to coordinate appropriate follow-up plans.

If a patient is denied admission because he/she has medical illness that exceeds the capability of CRH to manage safely, the patient is stabilized and then transported to a local hospital for appropriate evaluation and treatment.

Services Provided

Central Regional Hospital provides psychiatric care to North Carolinians. They treat children, adolescents, adults and the elderly. Their goal is to stabilize those in crisis, assess patient’s needs and provide medical care, psychiatric treatment and counseling. The staff helps their patients plan for their discharge and to make connections with the community.

The hospital is a state-of-the-art facility, serving adults and adolescents in 27 counties in the central region of the state. The hospital also serves children 12 and under from all 100 counties of North Carolina. Central Regional Hospital has forensic, research and child specialty units.

About Treatment at CRH

The treatment planning model follows six guiding principles: Interdisciplinary assistance; Individualized care to meet the patient’s needs; Problem-focused treatment; Involving the patient in the treatment planning process; Driven by assessment data; and a Care Treatment Plan that is directed toward the patient’s discharge.
Treatment in the forms of medication, counseling, educational sessions, group therapy, recreation therapy, work therapy, diet, creative expressive art and occupational therapy, are coordinated to help patients learn how to achieve their discharge goals and better manage their illness. The team providing the care consists of psychiatrists, social workers, nurses and other trained professionals. They work together with the patient and family to develop a comprehensive treatment plan addressing individual and family needs. Doctors and nurses are available to patients 24 hours a day.

Continuity of Care

Help and support does not stop when a patient leaves the hospital. Continuing care is a vital part of the recovery process and is part of the comprehensive treatment plan.  Central Regional, in collaboration with community-based programs and other facilities, works to ease the transition from the hospital to the community.

Rehabilitation therapies include education, work therapy, pastoral services, arts therapy, recreation, speech/language, beauty/barber and occupational/physical therapy.

Forensic psychiatric services include pretrial evaluation and treatment.

Inpatient and outpatient support services include pharmacy, radiology, medical laboratory, social work, food and nutrition, environmental and dental.

Who Is Eligible?

Admission is available to any adult consumer in the region, regardless of financial resources or insurance status. Patients pay on a sliding scale according to their income.

How To Apply:

Care at Central Regional Hospital begins with the Local Management Entity or local provider who makes the referral to the facility.

North Carolina law provides for two types of admission procedures: voluntary and involuntary.

One hundred, forty (140) beds are dedicated to patients who are considered acute care. Another 76 beds are for patients of 30 days to 6 months average length of stay.

Dorothea Dix was the first mental hospital in the state.

Central Regional will serve 27 counties from the North Carolina and Virginia border to the South Carolina border in the sandhills. It is now the biggest of the three state hospitals in North Carolina, the, two other state mental hospitals, Broughton, in Morganton, and Cherry Hospital, in Goldsboro.

Central Regional is responsible for 389 patients located in Butner and at the old Dorothea Dix campus in Raleigh.

$176 million is the total yearly operating cost for the hospital. These funds come largely from state appropriations, from Medicare and Medicaid funds and from private insurance.

“We have so much potential from cutting edge advancements because of the location being so near universities like Duke, UNC and NC State University,” Mike Hennike, Central Regional’s Chief Executive Officer said.

A large percentage of other mental health professionals and doctors working in the state received their education very near Central Regional.

The Butner Creedmore News, February 17, 2011