BryLin to open Williamsville mental health facility

July 15, 2013 Updated Jul 15, 2013 at 9:27 AM EDT

By Tracey Drury, Buffalo Business First Reporter

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BryLin to open Williamsville mental health facility

July 15, 2013 Updated Jul 15, 2013 at 9:27 AM EDT

BryLin Hospital, the region's only private hospital, is opening a new mental health outpatient clinic in Williamsville early next month.

Plans call for opening the 8,000-square-foot clinic in leased space at 531 Farber Lakes Drive by Aug. 6, providing such services as psychiatric evaluations, medication evaluations as well as individual and family therapy sessions.

The site will serve existing BryLin patients requiring outpatient services, as well as new patients not currently linked with a provider.

"There's a community need for mental health services," said Mark Nowak, marketing director. "Often times people are having to wait weeks or months to get a psych evaluation with a psychologist. We're looking to help fill that gap."

The site will be BryLin's third in addition to its main hospital on Delaware Avenue in Buffalo, and an outpatient substance abuse clinic in Williamsville on Sheridan Drive.

Adding the clinic helps BryLin provide a full continuum of care for people transitioning from inpatient care back home and into the community.

"More often, insurance (providers) want patients to use outpatient services first, but in the past we've had to refer to other resources in the community," Nowak said. "Now they will have a place within our network, and for those who are unattached, we can send them into the outpatient clinic if inpatient observation isn't an option."

The hospital will grow its staff of 250 by hiring 17 additional staff for the new site, including licensed clinical social workers, psychiatrists and psychiatry nurse practitioner.

Founded in 1955 by the late Leonard Pleskow; his son Eric Pleskow is now president/CEO.

BryLin is the region's only private hospital, specializing in inpatient psychiatry and outpatient addiction medicine services. Housed in two adjacent buildings next to the former Millard Fillmore Gates Circle Hospital, the 88-bed inpatient facility serves about 1,500 adolescent and adult patients annually.

The outpatient addiction clinic on Sheridan Drive serves about 11,000 annually.

The new outpatient clinic will serve adults age 18 and older initially, though eventually services might be added for the adolescent population as well, Nowak said.

It's the first expansion for BryLin since emerging from bankruptcy in 2005. During the bankruptcy, the hospital had closed a suburban site in Alden and concentrated on growing services at its main site in Buffalo.

Last year the company sold its two buildings for $3 million to a local investment group to finance renovations. The buyer of the buildings was Psyrus I LLC, an investment group owned in part by E. Paul Hettich, the hospital's CFO and senior vice president. Psyrus was also the buyer for the new outpatient site in Williamsville, closing on the sale of the property in late May.

The hospital is also exploring the possibility of a second outpatient site in the Southtowns.

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