By Lee Vorderer
On Tuesday, February 23, the doors opened on the only geriatric psychiatry unit for aging Veterans in the New England area. Part of the Edith Nourse Rogers Veterans Hospital here in Bedford, this 15-bed unit will respond to behavioral health and mental health needs of aging Veterans.
Informed by its mission to enable Veterans to stay where they want to be – in the community with their families, the Geri-Psychiatric unit is the result of an idea generated more than 15 years ago and represents four years of Renaissance and planning by visionary leaders at the hospital including Larry Herz, MD; Maha Khodeir, MD; Peter Morin, MD and Hospital Director Christine Croteau.
What was a section of the Alzheimer’s Unit at the hospital has been redesigned and transformed by engineers, carpenters, nurses and clinicians, many of whom are Veterans who work at the hospital. With the Bedford VA’s commitment to interdisciplinary services and innovation informed by its own research and clinical practice, the unit is set to become the source of new service designs and treatment for the large and challenging population of aging Veterans throughout New England.