Providence hospital to close children's psych unit, cut 50 jobs

Renton, Wash.-based Providence will close its inpatient psychiatric unit for children at Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center in Spokane, Wash. 

In a statement shared with Becker's, Providence said the unit, which treats children ages 12-17, will close Sept. 7. 

"While this was not an easy decision, we believe the best option is to close the unit and continue to increase our investment in outpatient mental health care and resources for our community," the system said in the statement. "While there are ongoing operational and financial challenges with the unit, including the need for important capital updates to increase safety, the primary reason for the unit closure is the ongoing shortage of inpatient psychiatrists that we see at the national, state and local levels." 

Around 50 jobs will be cut when the unit closes, according to the statement. Providence will work with affected employees to find other roles within the system wherever possible. 

According to the statement, Providence has made an "intentional investment" in outpatient mental health services, including two programs for patients ages 12 -17. The system has also placed behavioral health resources in its pediatric clinics. 

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