Greater Peoria Metro Area, IL

Working with the community... for a healthier community.

Raising the Bar for Behavioral Health Care


By Sara Browning

A personal message from Paul E. Macek, President & CEO, Proctor Health Care

On October 30, 2012 the Center for Senior Behavioral Health opened
at Proctor Hospital. This comprehensive 18-bed inpatient unit is unique
to Peoria. I am excited to announce that Proctor Hospital has taken a
leadership role in an area of geriatric psychiatry where the need is so

In 2010, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, there
were 40.3 million Americans age 65 and older. By 2030, it is expected
that number will increase to 72.1 million. Locally, that same Census
Bureau report shows a high concentration of seniors in Peoria
County—13.5 percent of the population is over the age of 65—compared to
the rest of the State where 12.5 percent of the population is 65 and
older. By 2020, the senior population in the Tri-County area will
increase by 31 percent. With nearly 20 percent of individuals 55 and
older experiencing behavioral health problems that are not part of
normal aging, according to the American Association for Geriatric
Psychiatry, the need is great and it is pressing.

Since 1994,
the Counseling Center at Proctor Hospital has provided comprehensive
outpatient counseling services to older adults. That, along with our 33
years of experience in inpatient and outpatient addiction treatment,
uniquely positions us to provide a more intensive level of mental health
care for older adults and answering this growing need.

“For the
past 37 years I’ve practiced inpatient and outpatient psychiatric care.
I am aware of the unique problems of treating psychiatric patients with
severe comorbid medical problems—the Center definitely fills a void,”
says Center Medical Director, Bradford Colen, MD.  “Older adults have
specific needs that are best addressed in programming focused on their
specific stage of life. Physical illnesses, medications, and the
psychological and social stresses of aging can often complicate
diagnosis and treatment. Most importantly, addressing comorbid mental
and medical health problems helps to decrease emotional suffering,
improve physical health, lessen disability, and provide a better quality
of life for patients. You’ll also see a reduction in health care
expenditures because you’ll reduce primary cares visits and likely
reduce the need for additional medical procedures and medications.”

In a July 7, 2012 USA Today article, Associated Press writer, Lauran
Neergaard, speaks to Dr. Colen’s point saying, “…older adults with
untreated depression are less likely to have their diabetes, high blood
pressure, and other physical conditions under control—and consequently
wind up costing a lot more to treat.”

The Center for Senior
Behavioral Health will provide a comprehensive continuum of care for
patients that experience a number of acute or chronic psychiatric
conditions such as severe depression, suicidal tendencies, anxiety,
psychosis, or bipolar disorder. Patient care plans will include medical
management, nursing care, psychological testing, social work, needed
therapies, and nutritional support. The Center also will provide a high
degree of observation, care, and safety.

The Center’s primary
market area includes communities within a 50 mile radius from Proctor
Hospital.  Among the 40 inpatient beds currently dedicated to adults for
mental health care, within this primary service area, very few are
designated specifically for the geropsychiatric patient.

recent Journal Star Reader Forum headline stated simply, “More Mental
Health Help Needed.” I am excited that we can now provide more mental
health help for the geriatric population—and continue to serve our
mission to central Illinois providing unmatched healthcare
experiences—every day.

Proctor Hospital is making good
on its mission to provide unmatched health care experiences everyday
with the introduction of the Center for Senior Behavioral Health.

In the business of providing behavioral health care since it began
addiction and mental health treatment in 1979, Proctor Hospital in
Peoria, IL, is now taking geriatric health care to a new level. The
Center for Senior Behavioral Health addresses the continuous need for
behavioral health care in the Central Illinois community with a unique
focus on the mental health needs of the geriatric population.

“Proctor Hospital has long provided substance abuse and mental health
services to patients, so the creation of this new facility has been a
natural outgrowth of those services now centered entirely on senior
care,” says Angie Moore, Executive Director for Behavioral Health at
Proctor Hospital.

“The community offers some psychiatric
services, but none of these services is exclusive to the senior
population,” says Angie. “There is no geriatric psychiatry unit in
Peoria, only facilities that treat seniors in combination with other
patients. The Center for Senior Behavioral Health provides a place for
senior patients with special behavioral needs to receive one-on-one
attention from professionals that specialize in treating their
behavioral condition.”

Assessing Individual Needs
Composed of an interdisciplinary team consisting of psychiatric
nurses, social workers, psychiatrists, and physicians, the Center for
Senior Behavioral Health addresses such mental health issues as
depression, anxiety, psychosis, dementia with mood and behavioral issues
within the framework of a short-term inpatient stabilization facility
providing comprehensive individualized care to seniors 65 and older.

The Center offers various services specially designed for the senior
population to address its unique needs. “We offer individual
counseling, group counseling, activity therapy, education and medication
management,” says Heidi Sauer, Director of the Center for Senior
Behavioral Health.

Many patients are referred directly from the
emergency department where they may present for psychiatric help.
Following the initial screening process, geriatric patients participate
in a consultation with their physician and a psychiatrist.

there, we conduct a more in-depth analysis of a patient’s needs to
develop an individualized treatment plan,” says Angie.

patients have completed their stay at the Center, psychiatrists make
recommendations for the patients to return home where their family is
the primary support giver or to the most suitable placement. Proctor
Hospital employs a Community Education Coordinator to assist with the
patient referral process and with creating a smooth pathway for the
patient in and out of the facility.

“We make decisions based
upon what is most appropriate given the patient’s individual needs,”
says Angie. “An individualized treatment plan derived from intensive
patient assessment assists the Center in an approach geared specifically
to each patient.”

Delivering Professional Care
The Center for Senior Behavioral Health provides geriatric patients
with the necessary staffing and structural components to allow seniors
to feel secure in their new environment. The 18-bed facility has been
newly renovated and consists of a dining area, lounge, a space for group
therapy and offices. The interior design creates a safe and calm

“Our patients feel safe and secure in our Center,”
says Heidi. “We’ve taken steps to ensure we have qualified and
professional staff on board. That is our strong suit.”  

Professionals at Proctor Hospital will assess behavioral outcomes in
the patient population as a part of a quality improvement process to
make certain seniors receive optimal care on an ongoing basis. “We take
pride in our ability to provide unmatched senior behavioral healthcare,”
says Angie.  “There has been much attention to detail to ensure the
right treatment team, the right environment, and evidence-based
best practices to ensure the highest quality care.”

For more information on Proctor Hospital’s Center for Senior Behavioral Health, visit or call 855-472-7788.