DMC offers tours of Laurel Place

The Inter-Mountain photo by Brad Johnson Dakota Burnside, RN, offers information about rooms at Laurel Place during a guided tour of the facility Thursday afternoon at Davis Medical Center. Laurel Place, a new geriatric behavioral health unit, features 20 beds, including two private rooms. Officials said an average stay on the unit is 10 to 12 days.

ELKINS — Davis Medical Center offered an open house for its new geriatric behavioral health unit Thursday afternoon.

Laurel Place, which focuses on developmental health care for seniors, opened at DMC on Jan. 2. On Thursday, members of the public were given guided tours of the facility.

Colleen Smith, Laurel Place’s activities coordinator, who is a certified therapeutic recreation specialist, showed visitors around several of the rooms.

“I just started programming here,” Smith said. “I do goal-oriented recreational leisure programs. We run group and individual activities, and I adapt activities based on the abilities of the patient.”

“Laurel Place has a patient-centered approach,” Smith said. “We look at each person individually and we tailor a care plan and treatment based on their needs.”

Colleen Smith, Laurel Place’s activities coordinator, points out the centrally located nurses station, where nurses work behind windows, as well as the cameras located throughout the unit, while giving a guided tour of the new facility at Davis Medical Center Thursday afternoon. Laurel Place, which opened on Jan. 2, has 20 beds, including two private rooms

Laurel Place has 20 beds, including two private rooms. Smith said an average stay on the unit is 10 to 12 days.

“We then help families place their loved ones in longterm care if necessary,” she said.

A psychiatrist is the medical director on the unit, which also features two nurse practitioners who are on call 24/7, plus RNs, LPNs and CNAs, and a licensed social worker, she said.

Smith pointed out the centrally located nurses station, where nurses work behind windows, as well as the cameras located throughout the unit. She also noted that doors on the unit are equipped with a suicide prevention alarm.

“The bathrooms are special-featured to promote safety,” Smith said.

Laurel Place’s activities room features tables and chairs where ‘we do cards, games, I do a seated yoga class, I do seated exercise, (and) we do walks along the hallways,’ Colleen Smith, the facility’s activities director, said.

The unit’s activities room features tables and chairs where “we do cards, games, I do a seated yoga class, I do seated exercise, (and) we do walks along the hallways,” Smith said.

Also on hand Thursday afternoon was Lulu, a registered therapy dog who visits the unit regularly. Lulu never fails to bring a smile to patients’ faces, said Robin Mams, the pet therapy volunteer who brings the dog to Laurel Place.

Laurel Place is described as a center for patients 55 and older with acute psychiatric or behavioral disorders.

Davis Health System submitted a Certificate of Need to the West Virginia Health Care Authority in 2017. DHS received approval and construction began in early 2018.

In December, DMC received full accreditation from the Joint Commission for Laurel Place.

Lulu, a registered therapy dog, was on hand Thursday afternoon at Laurel Place. The dog regularly visits the facility to bring smiles to the patients.

More information is available at davishealthsystem.org.

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