Highland Clarksburg Hospital opened the first of one of many units almost two months ago, now another one of its units is about ready to open its doors.
On August 19 the hospital opened the child and adolescent area. The 35-bed wing was the first portion of the hospital to open. Now the forensics unit is just about ready as well.
"They are what as known as the long term forensic patients for the state of West Virginia, which means they've gone through the court system and have been found to either be non-restorable, or found not guilty by reason of mental insanity. They are long term patients that will be with us for quite some time," said Eric Kennedy, Chief Operating Officer of Highland Clarksburg Hospital.
These patients require additional security measures which will be implemented on the three forensics floors.
"We have a card access system that requires both a card and a pin number for the folks in order to enter or exit a floor. The other security we've installed is an L-pass patient tracking and monitoring system where we can actually track the movement of the patient throughout the entire facility," said Mike Casdorph, the Director of Facility Development and Construction.
There will also be security guards on each forensics floor. The first of the three floors will be complete by December 1 and will have 28 beds.
"We'll have 84 beds total, but the state has indicated a need for between 25 and 28 patients now, so that's what we're looking at on December 1," explained Kennedy.
The other two floors are scheduled to open in January. Kennedy said since the hospital opened, things have been running smoothly and the child and adolescent unit has been a success.
"There's been a tremendous response to the services and the fact that they're open. We've taken care of about 85 kids which is way above our original projections," Kennedy said.
The general adult unit will also open in January.
With more units opening, that means more jobs as well. On Monday the hospital held a job fair. Kennedy said the hospital is looking to hire about 35 people.
The desired positions are registered nurses and behavioral health technicians. The hospital currently has 70 employees.