Old Mark Reed hospital still helping people heal

Facility is now an evaluation and treatment center for mental health

Security is tight at the Mark Reed Evaluation and Treatment Center in McCleary.

Almost every door requires a card to open. The reason for the security is for the protection of its new tenants and their patients.

Telecare Corp., which is based in Alameda, California, runs a 16-bed facility at the old Mark Reed Hospital, treating mental health patients, most of whom are there involuntarily. It’s called the Telecare Mark Reed Evaluation and Treatment Center.

Its main customers are being involuntarily held for mental care.

The patients “meet the criteria to be detained because they are a danger to self or others or are greatly disabled,” said Dr. Anne Gustafson, Telecare’s administrator of the facility.

The facility opened in September and employs about 40 people, many of whom are McCleary residents, Gustafson said.

“What we’re wanting to provide people, and what I think we do provide people, is safety, stability and support, kind of in that order,” she added. “Coming in, we make sure people are safe, then we help to get them stable. And we look for support for where they’re going to transition to.”

There are two registered nurses working around the clock at Mark Reed. They also employ recovery specialists, clinicians and social workers. Certified Peers, people who have lived the experience the patients are going through and have been trained to help others, also help in recovery. There’s also a discharge planner.

“We start discharge planning at the very beginning, before intake, we’re talking about where they will go, what’s the plan,” Gustafson said.

The facility includes a courtroom where a county court commissioner hears legal matters because the patients can’t leave.

“We have court twice a week to determine their legal status whether they should continue to stay or not,” Gustafson said.

Telecare runs seven similar facilities across the state as well as a few out-patient programs.

Great Rivers Behavioral Health is the “fiscal agent for publicly-funded mental health and substance use disorder treatment in Cowlitz, Grays Harbor, Lewis, Pacific, and Wahkiakum counties,” according to its website. Great Rivers leases the property through Summit Pacific Medical Center.

“Without a facility like this, Grays Harbor residents didn’t get much priority across the state in other facilities,” said Todd Broderius, who was Great Rivers’ chief integration officer before his current role within the organization. He worked extensively on the redevelopment of Mark Reed as an evaluation and treatment center.

“Other communities have similar facilities, but they take care of their own first. And if there’s a bed left over, then maybe a Grays Harbor residents could get in.”

Before the Mark Reed facility opened, Grays Harbor consistently led the state in people subject to involuntary treatment being forced to be released before they could receive effective, specialized care, Broderius said.

Gustafson said they have an average of about 14 patients at any one time and that the Mark Reed facility generally is meeting the needs of the county.

Initially, the opening of the facility received push-back from area residents concerned with safety around a mental health facility for people who might have had a run in with the law.

Steve Blumer, McCleary chief of police, said any business that employs 40 people will have an effect on a city the size of McCleary but that the police haven’t been overly taxed by the facility.

“It’s been pretty smooth sailing,” he said.

Old Mark Reed hospital still helping people heal
Old Mark Reed hospital still helping people heal
Old Mark Reed hospital still helping people heal
Old Mark Reed hospital still helping people heal