Broadlawns Expands Mental Health Services

Des Moines, IA (May 30, 2018) –Broadlawns Medical Center (BMC) announced today that it will expand its mental health services by opening a Psychiatric Urgent Care and by administering electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) procedures as of June 4, 2018.   With the addition of these services, Broadlawns continues to address the shortfall of mental healthcare within Central Iowa.

The Broadlawns Psychiatric Urgent Care will accept walk-in appointments for individuals who are experiencing an exacerbated mental health condition.  Services at the clinic will include mental health assessments, medication management, therapeutic counseling and coordination of services for healthcare and basic needs.  A medical provider will be available at the Broadlawns Psychiatric Urgent Care from Monday through Friday from 9 am to 7 pm.  The Crisis Observation Center operates within the same location and care is available 24/7 for individuals who are experiencing an intensified mental health condition. This is safe and calm environment for individuals who might benefit from seeing a nurse, therapist or care coordinator. 

The addition of a Psychiatric Urgent Care at Broadlawns is a natural extension of the Crisis Observation Center,” said Steve Johnson, Behavioral Health Administrator of BMC. “We believe this is the first Psychiatric Urgent Care in Iowa, and the addition of this clinic will provide a more immediate care option for mental health patients.  We are excited to open this clinic and to provide mental health patients with another option for receiving care when they need it most.”

Within the recently expanded Inpatient Behavioral Health unit, Broadlawns will begin administering ECT procedures. Conducted under general anesthesia, ECT procedures entail transferring small electric currents through the brain to reverse symptoms of major depression. ECT treatment has proven to be an effective course of treatment for individuals whose mental health condition has been unresponsive to other medical options.

“ECT procedures have evolved tremendously and the efficacy rates are very good,” said Ahmar Butt, MD, an inpatient psychiatrist at BMC. “We are pleased to incorporate this alternative course of treatment for our patients whose severe mental health conditions have not responded to traditional medications and therapy. ECT may be used as a first line rapid response treatment when there is a high risk of life threatening psychiatric and medical conditions and when there is an elevated risk of potential complications with other forms of therapy.”

Broadlawns Medical Center takes a leadership position in addressing the needs of mental health within Central Iowa with a 44-bed Inpatient Behavioral Health Unit and an Outpatient Mental Health Clinic that accommodated over 57,000 visits in fiscal year 2017.  The Broadlawns psychiatric staff is comprised of 12 psychiatrists and 10 mid-level medical providers.

About Broadlawns
Broadlawns Medical Center is a nonprofit healthcare organization that ensures our community is provided quality healthcare that is coordinated, compassionate and cost‐effective. The Broadlawns campus includes an acute care hospital, primary and specialty care clinics, urgent care and emergency services, lab, radiology, dentistry, crisis services, inpatient, outpatient and community-based mental healthcare.  Broadlawns accepts all forms of insurance and its approach to healthcare and quality outcomes earned a Level 3 rating from the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA), the highest achievable status for a medical delivery model. Broadlawns takes a leadership position in teaching the next generation of healthcare professionals through its residency and fellowship programs. In 1971, it became one of the first fully-accredited Family Medicine Residency programs in the Midwest and has curricula designed to meet all requirements of the residency review committee of the ACGME. Broadlawns offers fellowship training in foot and ankle trauma and in psychiatry for mid-level providers. In July 2018, Broadlawns and UnityPoint Health – Des Moines will begin jointly administering a Psychiatry Residency program. To learn more, please visit