Lawsuit Accuses Timberlawn Hospital of Negligence in Teenage Rape

A lawsuit alleges that a 13-year-old girl was raped by a 17-year old fellow patient at the since-closed Timberlawn psychiatric hospital, reports the Dallas Morning News. The father of the girl brought the suit against the hospital in Dallas County court. He says his daughter, who was being treated for depression, is still disturbed about the assault and still needs medical treatment. Universal Health Services, Timberlawn’s parent company, declined to comment according to DMN. The 144-bed hospital voluntarily closed last year after the state threatened to fine the facility and take away its licenses due to concerns about patient safety.… Full Story

THR Awards $5.2 Million to Address Social Determinants of Health

In Johnson County, the suicide rate for seniors is 25 percent above the Texas average, but a grant from Texas Health Resources is working to help isolated seniors. THR will be distributing $5.2 million worth of community impact grants all across North Texas to address everything from depression to food scarcity. The initiative is called Texas Health Community Impact and focuses on specific ZIP codes where chronic disease and premature death are more common, and partners with agencies in education, healthcare, and government. The funds will be directed toward 12 agencies across five geographic regions made up of 401 ZIP codes… Full Story

Smart Health and Wellness Opens Legacy-Plano Location

Smart Health and Wellness Centers has opened in Plano, uniting primary care, psychiatry, and neurology providers in a collaborative medical team. The site is the largest of Smart Health’s three locations. The new construction will be a free-standing, single story, 10,000-square-foot medical clinic with wings for exam rooms, psychiatric rooms, and advanced Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation therapy. There will also be therapy spaces for individuals, families, and groups. The location also has a nephrology lab and electroencephalogram testing. Smart Health and Wellness Centers was founded in 2016 and was originally known as Bent Tree Health Professionals, a psychiatric practice. The facility allow psychiatric… Full Story

Sundance Behavioral Health System Files for Bankruptcy

After reports that the Arlington location of Sundance Behavioral Health System held patients against their will, the entire system filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on Thursday. Bankruptcy court documents show the system owes 50 to 99 creditors between one and 10 million dollars, and it reports having only $500,00-$1,000,000 in assets. In December, the Arlington location surrendered its license and ceased operations after the allegations were made. The Dallas Morning News reports that most of the 20 allegations made in November and December had to do with holding patients against their will, such as detaining a minor and illegally holding… Full Story

Local Psych Hospitals are in Trouble, Furthering Mental Health Shortage

Over the past few weeks, two different mental health systems have made headlines for violations. NBC 5 reported that the Arlington location of Sundance Behavioral Health System surrendered its license and ceased operations after allegations that it held patients against their will, and the Dallas Morning News reported that the Dallas Behavioral Healthcare Hospital in DeSoto is losing medicare funding after suspected sex amongst minors and patients left untreated. The allegations come on the heels of the closing of Timberlawn Psychiatric Hospital earlier this year. The law firm representing Sundance Behavioral Healthcare System, said it cannot afford to stay open because… Full Story

DFW Hospital Council Foundation to Aid Mental Health Shortfalls with Grant

The Dallas-Fort Worth Hospital Council Foundation will receive a Community Mental Health Grant from the Texas Health and Human Services Commission. The grant will support the Foundation’s work through the North Texas Community Health Collaborative and provide mental health first aid training to 12 rural North Texas counties, including Ellis, Erath, Grayson, Hood, Hunt, Johnson, Kaufman, Navarro, Parker, Rockwall, Somervell and Wise counties. According to a Behavioral Health Community Needs Assessment Report released by the Community Health Collaborative earlier this year, rural North Texas counties have higher rates of behavioral health hospital visits than urban or suburban counties. Many of them… Full Story

Medical City Builds In-House Telepsych Program To Address Psychiatrist Shortage, Discharge Patients Faster

A new telepsychiatry program at Medical City Healthcare allows the North Texas system to address the region’s shortage of psychiatrists through technology. Contrary to the more commonly discussed telemedicine application, in which the patient is at home, Medical City’s telepsych brings psychiatrists to in-hospital psychiatric patients. A doctor “beams in” to consult with a patient, as Shannon Winburn-Raitt, Medical City Green Oaks’ director of behavioral health-telepsychiatry, puts it. Nurses move a robot to the patient’s bed, and psychiatrists, who often perform the consults from their own homes, can address suicide attempts, substance abuse or withdrawal, or any other behavioral health… Full Story

Dallas Company Begins Offering Drug, Alcohol Treatment Digitally

Enterhealth, a Dallas-based drug and alcohol treatment center, has designed a telemedicine program in-line with the company’s aim of treating dual-diagnosis disorders. “It’s a combination of real medical care but it’s very anonymous, very convenient and it’s not intrusive into their life at all,” Enterhealth Chief Medical Strategist Harold Urschel says. “You don’t have to go the doctor’s office, travel, park [or] pay a copay.” The 12-week treatment is managed through their telehealth service platform, Enterhealth Connect, which includes telepsychiatry and teletherapy. Patients use a video conferencing platform called Zoom to talk to doctors and therapists via smartphone, tablet or… Full Story

Amid Agency’s Struggles, CEO of Dallas County’s Largest Mental Health Provider Gets One-Year Contract

The Metrocare Services Board of Trustees renewed the contract of its chief executive officer for one year on Thursday afternoon, without a raise in salary but with the possibility of a bonus of up to $50,000. Dr. John Burruss will remain the agency’s leader amid its financial struggles and after a lengthy CEO evaluation process. The board will have discretion to grant the bonus and decide its amount, Board President Terry James said Thursday. Burruss makes a salary of $382,347 and has received two $50,000 bonuses in the last three years. Burruss’ three-year contract as CEO was set to expire… Full Story

Metrocare Board Likely To Decide CEO’s Fate This Week

The lengthy evaluation process of Metrocare Services CEO John Burruss will conclude at the agency’s board meeting on Thursday, and a decision about Burruss’ fate will likely follow. The closed-door executive session will include discussion on the “conclusion of CEO evaluation process and potential CEO contract renewal.” There’s an opportunity for the board to take action after executive session if need be. The behavioral health agency—Dallas County’s largest mental health provider, serving more than 57,000 adults and children annually—has for months been grappling with whether to extend the contract of its top executive amid the agency’s financial struggles. Burruss’ three-year… Full Story