Being new to the area, I was pleased to learn of the collaboration among community organizations in finding solutions to care for the mentally ill population. Health care institutions working with Wake County to provide care include Duke Raleigh Hospital, Holly Hill Hospital, Rex Healthcare, Strategic Behavioral Health, UNC Health Care and WakeMed Health & Hospitals.
The Dec. 28 story “Raleigh tries different way to treat the mentally ill” reprinted from the New York Times highlighted some of this outstanding work with Wake County EMS. The new WakeBrook mental health facility is another step in the right direction and is the direct result of Wake County, the state of North Carolina, UNC Health Care and WakeMed working together.
We are especially pleased with WakeBrook as the first step in UNC Health Care’s commitment of at least $40 million to meet the needs of the mentally ill in our community. UNC’s continued leadership in this area is vital because of its expertise and experience. While WakeMed and UNC Health Care have not always agreed on certain issues, this new mental health facility symbolizes the spirit of cooperation between important health systems serving our community. Many people worked hard to make it a reality.
Credit should go to the boards and leadership teams at UNC Health Care and WakeMed; Tom Ross, president of the UNC system; Wake County leadership and key members of the N.C. General Assembly. Our community owes all of them our sincere appreciation.
We still have daunting tasks ahead in addressing the health needs of our region, especially in providing care to the uninsured and our most vulnerable populations. But we have made a good start in the right spirit of collaboration on the mental health front.
WakeMed stands ready to work in partnership with our health care colleagues, with elected and appointed officials and with community leaders to meet the needs of all.
Donald Gintzig, Interim president & CEO WakeMed Health & Hospitals,