Banner Desert Medical Center will no longer offer behavioral health care and also plans to close an on-campus nursing home unit before the year ends.
The 50-bed behavioral health unit, housed in a separate building west of the main entrance, will close in early January, said spokeswoman Nancy Neff.
Patients who arrive in the Mesa emergency room will be taken to Banner Behavioral Health in Scottsdale if they need to be admitted. The hospital also will end its outpatient mental health counseling and drug and alcohol abuse treatment programs. The Scottsdale facility will offer these services in the East Valley, Neff said, but the locations have yet to be determined.
The 60-bed transitional care unit, located on the southwest side of the campus, is used for people who need skilled nursing care and rehabilitation but aren’t sick enough to remain in the hospital. After the unit closes in December, Neff said, patients will be sent to area nursing homes or monitored at home by visiting nurses.
Closing the two units will enable the medical center to concentrate on other areas, such as trauma, cancer care, pediatrics and emergency services, and better develop its acute-care programs. “We are no longer a small community hospital,” Neff said. “We are providing much more complex, high-level care.”
Nursing assistants, technicians, nurses and other staff in the behavioral health and transitional care units could find work at Banner Desert or other Banner Health facilities, Neff said. She wouldn’t say how many employees could lose their jobs, but said it’s possible all will be placed within the Banner system.