Mental health services part of pediatric center coming to Massillon
The Daily Record - 9/18/2018
MASSILLON — Primary medical care and pediatric rehabilitation are initial services on tap to be offered at a new Akron Children’s Hospital pediatric care center set to open early next year.
When the office opens in January or February 2019, a full-time pediatrician and a pediatric-trained nurse practitioner will lead the staff, which is to include pediatric nurses, medical assistants and an operations manager, according to Ben Teske, director of operations for hospital pediatrics.
Akron Children’s will immediately employ up to 15 people, said Teske, adding that those positions will be new jobs. More positions will likely be added later in 2019, he said.
The hospital’s expansion to Massillon is mainly due to the company’s ongoing growth and has very little — if anything — to do with the closure of Affinity Medical Center in February, Teske said.
“We’ve had some growth going on in Stark County,” he said, noting the hospital’s existing medical centers in Perry Township, North Canton and Alliance. “Having rehab closer to the community and patients (in Massillon) is part of our goal.”
According to a news release from Akron Children’s, the Massillon facility will initially have pediatric physical, occupational and speech therapists on hand to assist children recovering from various injuries an illnesses. A sports rehabilitation program will also be offered to youths and teens who participate in scholastic athletics.
Mental health care coming
Later next year, Akron Children’s plans to add a pediatric mental-health expert in Massillon to work with the pediatricians, assisting with depression, anxiety and behavioral issues among children and teenagers, according to Teske. He said the service is not a reaction to the number of teen suicide cases reported in the county over the last year.
“The trend in primary care is to embed mental and behavioral health in facilities, and have those types of counselors and experts on hand,” Teske said.
The hospital has an ongoing strategy in all of its practices to have mental and behavioral health service, Teske added.
“So many kids with these issues makes it such a need,” he said.
In the future, the hospital also wants to bring pediatric audiology care to the Massillon center.
Overall, 14,000 square feet of a 34,700 square-foot commercial building, 1149 Lincoln Way E, will be occupied by the hospital. The building was constructed in 1970 and is in the process of a remodel by Canton-based A. Altman Co., the current owner.
CREDIT: STEVEN M GRAZIER