Des Plaines hospital adds outpatient program for troubled veterans
Chicago Behavioral Hospital, which 15 months ago took over Maryville Behavioral Health Hospital in Des Plaines, has spent millions of dollars to modernize the new Extra Mile Veteran Care center on the campus.
"We're creating an environment that is welcoming and homelike," said Susan Young, a spokeswoman for the hospital, adding that there are 3,600 groups that work with veterans and "we're here to partner with anybody."
More than 25 percent of the 700,000 veterans in the state live in Cook County. The center, a specialized private outpatient program in a separate building, addresses the mental health and chemical dependency issues of veterans and their families.
Cost of care is typically covered by insurance or by groups aiding veterans, said Randy Kaniecki, senior vice president of US HealthVest, the New York-based company that owns the hospital.
"What makes The Extra Mile Program so unique is that the majority of its leadership and senior practitioners are veterans themselves who empathize with the struggles their patients are undergoing," said retired U.S. Army Col. David Sutherland, a consultant to US HealthVest, who spoke to the veterans and politicians at the open house of his personal distress at the traumas he witnessed during his military career. He commanded U.S. forces in Iraq and served as a special assistant to the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff during his 29-year military career.
The National Council on Behavioral Health reports that 30 percent of service members deployed to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan will have a mental health condition requiring treatment. The families are often affected by these difficulties. As such, treatment services and preventive strategies must be inclusive of the whole family, be it traditional or nontraditional, Kaniecki said.
US HealthVest bought the money-losing hospital from Maryville for $23 million in November of 2014. Maryville had bought the 93,000-square-foot, 125-bed facility, formerly Forest Hospital, in 1999.
US HealthVest has spent millions of dollars remodeling the facility to make it more modern and more welcoming, with less of an institutional feel in patient rooms, common areas and counseling areas, Kaniecki said.
The hospital provides inpatient and outpatient programs for adolescents, adults and seniors. In February, it is adding a program providing specialized services for women and a program that joins faith-based principles with evidence-based treatment.