Baptist Health La Grange expands access to mental health services with new inpatient unit

Baptist Health La Grange. June 17, 2024

LA GRANGE, Ky (June 17, 2024) — Baptist Health La Grange leadership and staff joined community officials to celebrate the opening of its new Behavioral Health services with a ribbon-cutting ceremony Thursday morning.

The nearly $10 million project expands access to mental health services by creating the only publicly available inpatient behavioral health beds in Oldham, Henry, Trimble, Carroll or Shelby County along with critically needed outpatient resources.  

Behavioral health is an inclusive term referring to mental health disorders, life stressors and crises, stress-related physical symptoms and more. Many diagnoses involve multiple factors and behavioral health services offer wholistic treatment of the individual. 

The new inpatient unit includes 11 all-private rooms, a secure outdoor area, and dedicated spaces for specialized therapy, designed from the ground up as a healing environment opens to patients in July. The project also creates outpatient support services, which opened earlier this year, that compliment inpatient treatment and reduce readmissions.

Clint Kaho, Baptist Health La Grange president, explained that adding Behavioral Health services became a priority following the hospital’s latest Community Health Needs Assessment, which identified mental health as the top health challenge faced by the community.

“We are grateful for the opportunity to bring high-quality, individualized behavioral health services close to home for our patients,” Kaho said.

During the ribbon-cutting ceremony, Kristine Baula, MD was introduced as the medical director of Behavioral Health at Baptist Health La Grange. Dr. Baula noted the impact increased access to services makes to the lives of her patients.

“My hope is that by offering these services in La Grange, we are breaking down stigma of mental health issues—we are telling the community it’s ok to ask for help,” Dr. Baula said. “It is important to encourage people them to seek help, and it’s even more important that help is actually available to them.”

The project creates more than 30 jobs, including psychiatrists, nurses, mental health techs, licensed therapists, and social workers. EOP Architects designed the unit and Wehr Constructors, Inc. served as the contractor for the year-long renovations. 

The addition of Behavioral Health services is part of Baptist Health’s previously announced expansion of services in Oldham, Henry, Trimble, and surrounding counties. Other components of the expansion include a specialized pain management clinic now open in La Grange, the newly opened Central Pharmacy Services Center, and a new Baptist Health campus planned for the Crestwood area.