Ellis Medicine opens new mental health center in Schenectady
June 16, 2017
$3.5M expansion aims to meet growing need
SCHENECTADY, N.Y. — With the opening of its new mental health center at 1023 State St., Ellis Medicine greatly expands its capacity to serve the mental health needs of the Capital Region.
Ellis Medicine today highlights the benefits of the newly renovated State Street Health Center with a 10:30 a.m. ribbon cutting and tour, followed by a community open house from 2 to 4 p.m. This innovative mental health clinic replaces the former clinic a mile away at 216 Lafayette St., Schenectady. At 37,200 square feet, the new location nearly doubles the space of the former mental health clinic (the old site was 19,000 square feet). The added space also gives Ellis Medicine the ability to hire additional mental health caregivers and medical staff, a move aimed at increasing the number of patients who receive care, while reducing wait lists.
“Ellis has a decades-long tradition of helping individuals recover from mental illnesses and go on to lead happy, productive and rewarding lives,” said Paul Milton, president and CEO of Ellis Medicine. “Demand for these services is on the rise — one reason being that increased awareness has helped remove the stigma of mental illness. With more people seeking treatment, we saw a need to boost our capacity to serve the community. This new facility will ensure more people receive care.”
In the UMatter Schenectady Survey, a community health assessment conducted in 2013, 25 percent of respondents reported they had been diagnosed with depression. One in four new mothers in our region experience depression or post-partum disorders that can adversely affect mental health. Meanwhile, the opioid and substance abuse crises present an urgent public health challenge, while increasing the need for mental health services — which frequently co-occur with substance abuse services.
“At the former clinic, demand exceeded supply in many ways,” said Wendy Rosher, Ellis’ Executive Vice President for Operations & Strategic Planning. “Space was tight. Capacity was limited. The layout was configured around narrow corridors. The new space opens everything up. We designed this with the needs of our patients in mind. There’s more space. There are large windows to let in more natural light. It’s a space that offers a real positive feel and an atmosphere conducive to quality care.”
The new 1023 State St. location was funded, in part, by a $300,000 contribution from the Schenectady-based Wright Family Foundation, whose gift was in support of community and neighborhood revitalization.
“We are grateful for the philanthropic support of the community, which helped make this vision a reality,” said Senior Director of Service Lines Donald Booth, who oversaw the project. “This new space gives our highly trained therapeutic team of psychiatrists, social workers, nurses, and therapy aides an environment and space specifically designed to meet our patients’ needs. And there’s more to come. This is the beginning of a multi-year plan that will put primary care providers and other services under one roof. The aim is to further improve coordination of care by giving patients access to other essential services.”
The renovated 1023 State St. location is just west of the corner of Brandywine Avenue, one of the busiest intersections in the City of Schenectady. The new mental health center is the latest addition to a neighborhood that’s seen several other recent economic development and revitalization projects, including a new library branch and retail stores.
“This is a tremendous boon for the State Street corridor,” said Chris Spraragen, owner of the 1023 State St. building and the project’s general contractor. “It’s a real inspiration to see this building come back to life and serve such a vital function for our community. We see many ways in which the Ellis clinic could help inspire further investment and neighborhood revitalization. It certainly helps continue to build momentum for this neighborhood.”
The new facility opens to patients on Monday, June 19. Current patients will continue to see their same physicians and social workers at the new location. New patients looking for mental health care can call 518-243-3300 for information.