EPC supports proposed behavioral health facility

by Clay Neely

The Coweta County Economic Prosperity Council passed a motion Friday to send a formal letter of support for the behavioral health hospital proposed for the old Coweta General hospital campus in Newnan.

Psychiatric group Vest Newnan LLC recently filed a Certificate of Need with Georgia officials to use the vacant former complex, which most recently housed Piedmont Newnan Hospital before its move to the new hospital on Poplar Road.

'Any and every area of our community should support this and be behind it as it is a good thing for our community to have a quality mental health provider as a part of our health care continuum,' emphasized Sheri DeShazo, Piedmont Newnan vice president and chief clinical officer.

'We are seeing a dire need for this kind of service. It is nothing for us to have five, six, eight patients who need services we can't provide,' DeShazo said. 'Mental health is a part of good individual and physical health. When I have patients who have mental health needs and I can't get them addressed immediately, those are beds that aren't available for medical care. It's a critical need for our community.'

DeShazo added, 'When you're managing this patient population, it's similar to a diabetic scenario. It's not a onetime fix. You have a lifestyle that has to be managed. With a mental health condition, the closer you can get help where you live and work, the better off you are and the more we can do to help you get well, stay well and maintain a sense of stability. It's the cycle of returns. We need the resources here in our community.'

Nathan Nipper, vice president and COO of Piedmont Newnan Hospital, added: 'Letters can be written to the company who is attempting to build the hospital. We see nothing but true value in having this as a resource in our community.'

The Newnan-Coweta Chamber of Commerce and other individual local businesses and groups have already sent formal letters of support for the new facility, it was noted.

U.S. HealthVest provides specialized psychiatric care services, including substance abuse treatment, through inpatient and outpatient programs. The company is based in the United States.

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