Emory to keep most workers for overhauled psychiatric services
Ken Watts | 10/25/2013, 6 a.m.
The 100 nurses, physical therapists and staff being displaced by changes in Emory University’s overhaul of its inpatient geriatric psychiatry program will not all lose their jobs.
Vince Dollard, Emory’s associate vice president of communications, said on Oct. 3 that they are working diligently to place “valuable employees” affected by the reduction into the nearly 800 vacant positions across Emory University Health System.
“We are optimistic that the majority of these employees will place into vacant positions if they elect to apply for them, and they will have essentially no interruption in EHC employment,” he said. “We have had good success doing this in the past.”
Dollard said changes to the Center for Rehabilitation Medicine at 1365 Clifton Road will be effective in November. He said that the center, which admits 750 patients a year, is expected to maintain its caseload after the changeover. The new care model is being developed to meet the needs of the changing patient population, he said.
“All the literature says we’re not doing the patient any favors by bringing them into the facility environment when they’re already stressed out,” Dollard said. “The difference is the staff and professionals will sometimes meet the patients where they are.”
For example, he said that if the patient is in a senior living facility, staff and professionals will deliver treatment there.
“Doctors making house calls sometimes if it’s necessary,” he said, adding that the point of the change is to provide the most appropriate care in the most appropriate setting for adults and geriatric psychiatry patients who will still be treated at the center.
Dollard said Emory is working to provide modern facilities that are comfortable for patients, family members and staff and have efficient processes, services, and management of resources in this economy.
He said every attempt is being made to minimize disruptions.
“Staff members are talking with patients and their families to provide a smooth transition to the new program,” he said.