New Beds Coming To Local Hospitals

Beds will be dedicated to behavioral health

Betsy Johnson Hospital of Dunn, part of the Harnett Health system, is shown here during its 75th anniversary celebration. DAILY RECORD FILE PHOTO

By The Daily Record

Behavioral health beds are coming to Harnett County hospitals thanks to an $8 million provision outlined in the state budget.

Behavioral health focuses on a person’s habits or behaviors, including drug use, that affect one’s physical and mental health. These will be the first beds dedicated to behavioral health needs at Betsy Johnson and Central Harnett hospitals. And they will be coming to a county that has seen a continued rise in opioid overdoses and deaths.

Harnett Health President Cory Hess said the state funds will allow the creation of a new Behavioral Health service line in Harnett County.

Behavioral health focuses on a person’s habits or behaviors, including drug use, that affect one’s physical and mental health. These will be the first beds dedicated to behavioral health needs at Betsy Johnson and Central Harnett hospitals. And they will be coming to a county that has seen a continued rise in opioid overdoses and deaths.

Harnett Health President Cory Hess said the state funds will allow the creation of a new Behavioral Health service line in Harnett County.

Nagowski said he appreciated the hard work that Representatives Marvin Lucas, Billy Richardson, John Szoka, Diane Wheatley, Howard Penny, John Sauls and Larry Strickland and Senators Jim Burgin, Ben Clark and Kirk deViere put in to make this year’s state budget come together. He also thanked Representatives William Brisson, Charles Graham, Brendan Jones, Garland Pierce and Raymond Smith, and Senators Danny Britt, Brent Jackson and Bill Rabon.

With this additional money, the $33 million construction cost of the Center for Medical Education is now fully funded. The building is currently scheduled to open in the summer of 2022.

The Cape Fear Valley Health Foundation, which has focused its current capital campaign on the building and its programs, plans to now turn its fundraising efforts to the center’s programming needs, like endowing faculty positions, outfitting the inside of the facility with state-of-the-art learning environments for residents, equipment to increase the program’s research potential and ability to participate in clinical trials, and other program goals.

“We’ve raised $6.3 million so far from individual and corporate donors through our Caring for the Future campaign,” said Vice President of Foundation Sabrina Brooks. “That included $1.4 million for program support, which is where we will now focus the rest of the campaign.”

The primary purpose of the Center for Medical Education is to allow the health system to increase its number of residency programs beyond the current 10 programs, which will in turn increase the physician workforce available to southeastern North Carolina, Brooks said.

“There are still many opportunities for donors to be a part of this project,” Brooks said. “In addition to the residencies, we’re looking to fund expanding fellowship programs.”