Garrett Regional Medical Center opens behavioral health clinic in Oakland

Garrett Regional Medical Center opens behavioral health clinic in Oakland



Garrett Regional Medical Center (GRMC) held a ribbon cutting ceremony on Wednesday to introduce the community to the latest addition to its growing stable of health care specialties. The Health & Wellness Services of Garrett Regional Medical Center offers comprehensive behavioral health services for both children and adults at its location at 69 Wolf Acres in Oakland.


The facility, created in part through a $600,000 HRSA grant, is open to all residents of GRMC’s service area, which encompasses eight counties across three states. The fact that the facility will provide services to residents of West Virginia and Pennsylvania, in addition to those living in Maryland, is a plus for the broader region. The HRSA grant involved GRMC partnering with Mountain Laurel Medical Center and the WVU Department of Behavioral Medicine and Psychiatry to integrate behavioral health and primary care services for patients throughout the area.



Caption: Kendra Thayer, GRMC chief nursing officer cuts the ribbon for the hospital’s regional behavioral health clinic located at 69 Wolf Acres in Oakland, Md. Pictured left to right: Dr. Margaret Kaiser, GRMC medical director of subacute; Dr. Marjorie Fridkin, GRMC chief medical officer; Charles Wilt, Mountain Laurel Medical Center CEO; Kendra Thayer, GRMC CNO; Julianna Ablowicz, regional director for Sen. Chris Van Hollen; Mark Boucot, GRMC president & CEO; Dr. Lisa Ryan of Wellspring Family Medicine; Taylor Donahue, field rep for Congressman David Trone; Jim Bailey, GRMC Board of Governors chairman; Shirley Bailey, vice-chair of GRMC Foundation; and Connor Norman, diplomat of Garrett County Chamber of Commerce.


“Through our partnership with WVU Medicine, we are pleased to fill the gap in meeting our region’s behavioral healthcare needs,” says Mark Boucot, GRMC’s President and CEO.  “The shortage of behavioral health providers is a national problem and certainly one for our region.  Whether it is a need for grief counseling, treatment for anxiety and depression, or overcoming substance abuse, we are thrilled to offer these much-needed services that will benefit residents from throughout the tri-state region.  We hope to reduce the devastating impact that mental illness and addiction can have on an individual and their loved ones.”


Health & Wellness Services will be open Monday through Friday, with hours varying to accommodate patient needs. Staff at the agency includes two licensed certified counselors, one with a background in addictions; a mental health nurse practitioner; a psychologist; a licensed practical nurse; and a support staff member. The licensed practical nurse will conduct primary care wellness checks on all patients, recording heart rate, pulmonary function, blood pressure, weight and body mass index.


“In our plans to provide comprehensive behavioral health services, we set out to take a holistic approach,” notes Mr. Boucot. “Often times behavioral health patients tend to neglect their physical health. We want to help them understand that physical health can impact mental health, and vice versa. Teaching patients to take care of themselves physically can help them feel better and lead healthier lives. We really want to consider the whole individual.”


In addition to primary care checks, patients will also receive assistance by being referred to community agencies for help with daily living tasks that can have an impact on their mental health. Health & Wellness Services will work with area social programs to ensure patient needs are met across the board.


Anyone interested in making an appointment at Health & Wellness Services of Garrett Regional Medical Center can call 301-533-2190.