New mental health center opens in John Day

<p>Jan Keil, right, administrator of Juniper Ridge Acute Care Center in John Day, chats with Jim and Sandy Bay of Mt. Vernon Feb. 18 during the center’s open house.</p>


JOHN DAY – Just over 200 visitors toured the new Juniper Ridge Acute Care Center during a Feb. 18 open house.

The facility, operated by Community Counseling Solutions (CCS), officially opened Feb. 21 and is currently serving four patients.

CCS executive director Kimberly Lindsay was pleased with the open house turnout.

“There were lots of good questions, and in general the community seemed pleased and interested in the kind of work we are doing,” she said.

Located past the hospital at 194 Ford Rd. in John Day, Juniper Ridge holds 11 rooms for patients experiencing varying levels of mental crisis.

Employees of John Day’s The Floor Store laid the last bit of durable wood-like flooring for the 8,000-square-foot building shortly before the open house.

Visitors who toured the new facility found rooms that are both comfortable-looking and secure. Patient rooms and bathrooms had careful attention to safety details to lower the chance of self-harm. Doors to the outside open by cardlock.

Other highlights include a TV area, open dining area, conference room and offices. Outside, the driveway and parking lot are paved, and as soon as weather improves, landscaping and fencing will be added.

CCS is contracting with Blue Mountain Hospital for meals, cleaning and laundry for the center.

Juniper Ridge administrator Jan Keil said there was a need for a mental health facility in Eastern Oregon. She noted that before the center opened, patients were sent to Bend or Western Oregon.

“There is a great need, evidenced by the fact that we have four placements already,” Keil said, adding that these first patients are all from Eastern Oregon.

Lindsay noted the census at the facility is expected to fluctuate.

Other employees at the center include psychiatrist Dr. John Bates, clinical supervisor Carol Humphreys and assistant administrator Nancy Carr as well as a social worker, qualified mental health associates and resident associates.

“We are fully staffed, and the employees at Juniper Ridge are exceptional,” Lindsay said. “They are eager to learn and excited about the work that they are doing. Everyone has just jumped right in, and I can’t say enough good about how great they are to work with.”

The number for Juniper Ridge is 541-575-0237.

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