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Shodair to open children's mental-health clinic in Butte

Montana Standard - 1/6/2020

Jan. 5--Helena-based Shodair Children's Hospital is planning to open a children's outpatient mental-health clinic in Butte by March.

"We are having discussions with St. James Healthcare and the entire medical community in Butte to help us define exactly the services that the community needs and we can provide," said Shodair CEO Craig Aasved Friday. "But our plans are to have a full-time clinic in Butte."

"Specialized psychiatric care for children and adolescents is critical to southwest Montana and St. James Healthcare," Jay Doyle, St. James Healthcare CEO, said Friday. "Shodair's services will make a major difference and as a community leader we see this as an opportunity to bring more services to Butte."

Aasved said the impetus for the early discussions between Shodair and the Butte medical community was the closure of Acadia Montana, an inpatient for-profit children's psychiatric facility, in June of last year.

While the clinic Shodair is planning will not be a 24-hour or inpatient facility -- hours will be more like a doctor's office -- Aasved said it should help fill some of the void left by Acadia's closure. "It will be a place where families can bring kids to be seen," Aasved said. "It will not be a place where kids will spend the night or anything like that."

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Aasved said Shodair is in the process of securing a lease for space for the Butte clinic.

Shodair is opening a similar clinic in Missoula next week.

"Each one of these communities is trying to address mental health and don't really have the right resources and have reached out to us," Aasved told Montana Public Radio last week.

John Brewer, Shodair's director of operations, told Montana Public Radio that Shodair's outpatient children's mental health service in Helena has grown exponentially over the past year. "We have patients driving from, I think we're at 47" of Montana's 56 counties, he said, expressing the hope that the new clinics would mean less drive time and quicker treatment for children in need of help.

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