Rogers Behavioral Health nears completion on West Allis, Oconomowoc expansion projects

Adding residential program capacity to address waitlists

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Rogers Behavioral Health is nearing completion on expansion projects at its West Allis and Oconomowoc campuses, which will allow the system to serve 62 more patients through its residential programs.

Rogers leaders said the increase in residential beds will minimize the behavioral health system’s current waitlists for patients seeking treatment for mental health and addiction struggles.

“When families are calling us, they are kind of at the end of their rope,” said Kim Effertz, chief operating officer of Rogers’ Oconomowoc campus. “They have typically tried other levels of care that aren’t working, so they are calling us desperate … We do everything we can to utilize every bed that we have open and try to move them through the waitlist, but it’s been hard up until now. So this is opening a lot of access.”

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Leaders from Rogers offered media tours of their building expansion projects on Wednesday.

Rogers is adding capacity to be able to treat 28 additional patients, for a total of 40 residential patients, through its existing mental health and addiction recovery program for adolescents at the West Allis campus.

At its main Oconomowoc campus, the system is adding capacity to treat 62 more patients through several new and expanded programs, including a program for trauma recovery for adults, an OCD, anxiety and depression center for adolescents, and expanded programs for eating disorder recovery, depression recovery and OCD and anxiety.

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With both expansions, Rogers has capacity to treat a total of 288 people in the residential level of care. Residential programs provide an intermediate level of care for those don’t require acute psychiatric hospitalization, but need a higher level of intervention than outpatient therapy.

Patients typically stay in residential programs for 30 to 90 days. The program includes daily therapy in a setting that’s designed to be supportive and home-like.

“It’s kind of a home away from home that allows patients to get accustomed to managing their symptoms and behaviors in a little bit more of a home-like setting and gradually working them to a higher level of stability where they can go to one of the day programs,” said Dr. Brad Smith, medical director for Rogers’ Oconomowoc campus.

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The expansion at its Wisconsin facilities comes as Rogers continues its growth in other states. It’s on pace to open four new outpatient centers this year, with locations in Miami, San Diego, Los Angeles and St. Paul, Minnesota.

Earlier this year, Rogers said it would hire about 170 employees in Wisconsin and 75 employees in other states to support its growth. Rogers has about 2,100 employees system-wide.

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