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Date Published: Thursday, October 26, 2023
Date Updated: Thursday, October 26, 2023

WMCHealth Mental Health Specialists to Provide Consultative Services at Andrus Through a New Community Partnership

Behavioral health physicians will now provide care to children and adolescents at Andrus

news item

VALHALLA, N.Y. (October 26, 2023) – In a new partnership that will advance mental health services in Westchester County and the Hudson Valley, Westchester Medical Center Health Network (WMCHealth) behavioral health physicians will now provide care to children and adolescents at Andrus, which has a residence and school for K – 9 students that provides a range of preventive and restorative services for children and families across the tri-state area.

For this community collaboration that will have a positive impact on the well-being of local children, many of whom have experienced trauma, WMCHealth will provide child and adolescent psychiatrists for weekday consultations and treatments at the Andrus residence and Orchard School, which together serve about 150 students. The same WMCHealth behavioral health specialists will also care for children at Andrus’s two community-based clinics, which serve over 5,000 children and adults. Andrus is focused on trauma-informed, community-based programming in Westchester County on its campus, at its two community clinics, at 35 school-based clinics, as well as through its Sanctuary Network of organizations on three continents, impacting an estimated 90,000 people worldwide.

The two organizations solidified the partnership at a recent ceremony on the Andrus campus on North Broadway in Yonkers/Hastings.

“WMCHealth is one of New York State’s largest providers of behavioral health services, and our new clinical services agreement with Andrus exemplifies WMCHealth’s commitment to building community partnerships that improve health outcomes,” said Josh Ratner, Executive Vice President, and Chief Strategy Officer for WMCHealth. “In partnering with Andrus, WMCHealth can help ensure children in need of behavioral health services receive proper evaluation and care, which can enhance their ability to learn and grow. This is a winning proposition for the children, their families and the entire community.”

Front row (L-R): Naomi Ekweribe, MD., WMCHealth, Heath Bloch, President and CEO at Andrus, Josh Ratner, Executive Vice President and Chief Strategy Officer, WMCHealth

Second row (L-R): Corine Lurry-Mabin, Vice President and Chief Program Officer at Andrus, Steven Dickstein, MD, WMCHealth, Ken Oclatis, PhD, WMCHealth

Top row: Stephen Ferrando, MD, Director of Psychiatry, WMCHealth

Heath Bloch, President and CEO of Andrus, “For too long the healthcare system has accepted breaks in care that lead to poor outcomes. This partnership is a key element of our one, integrated system of care that eliminates programmatic siloes and puts children and families first.” 

The WMCHealth child and adolescent mental health specialists that will supply consultative services at Andrus are experts in care at the Network’s Behavioral Health Center.  Located on the campus of Westchester Medical Center, the Behavioral Health Center offers a full spectrum of inpatient, outpatient, community and emergency care for individuals and families.

“The collaboration pairs the strengths of the Andrus therapeutic school and residence for special needs elementary and middle school students with our expertise in child and adolescent psychiatry,” said Stephen Ferrando, MD, Director, Psychiatry, Westchester Medical Center.

We are happy to enhance the outstanding care Andrus already provides and through this collaboration, we seek to learn Andrus’s highly regarded therapeutic model of services.”

According to Andrus Vice President Dorea Ferris, the partnership is premised on the idea of more effectively coordinating the care of children, families and adults who have experienced trauma or emotional hardship. 

“Children who are treated in our community-based clinics, schools, or in our residential program, who may require hospitalization, will have the same team of psychiatrists in the hospital as those who are overseeing their care at Andrus.  Our care, through this partnership, puts the client relationship front and center and includes continuity with prescribed medications and healthcare plans.  At the same time, Andrus will be supporting educational opportunities for physicians affiliated with WMCHealth to practice psychiatry under the lens of community-based, trauma-informed care.”   

About Westchester Medical Center Health Network
The Westchester Medical Center Health Network (WMCHealth) is a 1,700-bed healthcare system headquartered in Valhalla, New York, with nine hospitals on seven campuses spanning 6,200 square miles of the Hudson Valley. WMCHealth employs more than 13,000 people and has nearly 3,000 attending physicians. The Network has Level I (adult and pediatric), Level II and Level III trauma centers, the region’s only acute care children’s hospital, an academic medical center, several community hospitals, dozens of specialized institutes and centers, Comprehensive and Primary Stroke Centers, skilled nursing, assisted living facilities, home-care services and one of the largest mental health systems in New York State. Today, WMCHealth is the pre-eminent provider of integrated health care in the Hudson Valley. For more information about WMCHealth, visit WMCHealth.org or follow WMCHealth on Facebook.com/WMCHealth or Instagram.com/WMCHealth.