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March 20, 2024

SCHA Out & About Vol. 9: EmPATH Launch!

Vituity’s Dr. Scott Zeller with Lexington Medical Center VP of Operations Jay Hamm

In this edition of “Out and About,” SCHA Foundation President Melanie Matney and Diana Zona, Executive Director of Behavioral Health, travels around the state as part of the launch of the EmPATH grant.

This past week has been a whirlwind! Last Tuesday, the South Carolina hospital EmPATH Learning Collaborative officially launched at SCHA. EmPATH (Emergency Psychiatry Assessment, Treatment, and Healing) provides a model to greatly improve behavioral health assessment and treatment in calming environments. Thirteen hospitals – those awarded funds from SC DHHS to build EmPATH units – have come together to learn from each other and from best practices shared by Vituity to effectively build and operate these units, standardizing processes and procedures as much as possible.

Following the launch, Dr. Scott Zeller and Kimberly Lopez with Vituity shared their expertise onsite with seven hospitals over the course of several days, reviewing their construction, layouts, workflow, staffing, reimbursement practices, medical screening, community connection, and several other areas.

SCHA will keep you posted as this exciting work continues to evolve and make a difference in behavioral health across our state. In the meantime, check out the pics of the launch and our team’s visits all around South Carolina!

Live Oak Mental Health & Wellness opened in June 2023 and is right down the street from the new EmPATH unit at Trident Medical Center in Summerville.
The team with MUSC’s Shawn Jenkins Children’s Hospital
The EmPATH and McLeod Health teams in Florence
The meeting at Hampton Regional Medical Center in Varnville
EmPATH Team Meeting with MUSC Kershaw
EmPATH Team meets with Beaufort Memorial Hospital