2017 Budget Agreement Increases Funding for Caldwell UNC Healthcare

RALEIGH, NC (August 9, 2017)…The bipartisan North Carolina Budget passed and signed into law earlier this year included the transfer of funds from the State’s sale of the Dorothea Dix Hospital Property to the Dept. of Health and Human Service for the purpose of expanding inpatient capacity in rural areas near counties with limited inpatient capacity relative to their needs through constructing new beds or renovating existing beds to form new inpatient psychiatric units. Of the funds transferred up to $4 million will be used for inpatient beds at Caldwell UNC Healthcare, a much-needed addition that will have a tremendous impact on health care in Caldwell County. “The need for inpatient psychiatric services in our region is great,” Caldwell UNC Healthcare President Laura Easton said. “A nearby facility reported receiving over 5000 inquiries for their unit in a one year period. Unfortunately, they were only able to serve approximately 500 of these requests. Caldwell County citizens have had great difficulty in accessing inpatient mental health services when they need them and have been forced to travel great distances across the State. Senator Ballard and Representative Hall recognize this need and worked tirelessly to appropriate funds for our community. At UNC Caldwell, we are grateful for their advocacy. We will use these funds to build a facility for care and treatment that respects the dignity of each person and keeps them close to home.”

Senator Deanna Ballard

“I just visited Laura Easton, President and CEO of Caldwell Memorial, last week to walk the space that will be renovated to accommodate these new beds. Our emergency rooms have turned into waiting rooms for mental health patients – it’s costly and ineffective and we must do better in working together to provide patients the right level of care. Under Laura’s leadership, I know these funds will be used efficiently and appropriately towards fulfilling this critical need for our community” said Senator Deanna Ballard.

Representative Destin Hall

“The $4 million for inpatient behavioral health beds at Caldwell UNC Healthcare helps meet a critical need for our county. Increasingly, the county and law enforcement have been forced to spend considerable resources dealing with mental health issues that should be the work of medical professionals. This is truly a case of spending resources now to save resources in the long run. Plus, it’s just the right thing to do for the citizens of Caldwell County. I’m proud to be a part of securing these funds” said Representative Destin Hall.

An Office of Senator Deanna Ballard Press Release