As part of Ascension Wisconsin’s commitment to improving access to behavioral and mental health services, Ascension Mercy in Oshkosh unveiled its new Geropsychiatric Inpatient Unit with a commemorative ribbon cutting and unit tours.


“As advances in medicine and technology have allowed people to live longer, there is a growing need for specialized services in behavioral and mental health for our senior patients,” said Tina Lechnir, behavioral health director, Ascension Mercy. “The behavioral and mental health challenges in the senior population are compounded by comorbidities and increased life stressors like significant loss of family and friends as they age. We need to take all of this into consideration when caring for seniors in our community.”


The Geropsychiatric Inpatient Unit at Ascension Mercy is the only one of its in kind in the region. Patients will receive cognitive, emotional and behavioral care for a variety of psychiatric illnesses including depression, bipolar disorder, anxiety and thought disorders. Families will be closely involved and encouraged to participate throughout the patient’s hospitalization.


Across the Fox Valley, Ascension Wisconsin provides behavioral and mental healthcare for children, adolescents, adults and seniors. Ascension St. Elizabeth in Appleton has a 17-bed child and adolescent psychiatric unit and a 16-bed adult psychiatric and substance abuse unit. In addition to the new eight-bed geropsychiatric unit, Ascension Mercy has a seven-bed adult psychiatric and substance abuse inpatient unit.



Photo: From left, Raymond Dambeck, facilities manager, Medxcel; Tina Lechnir, behavioral health director, Ascension NE Wisconsin; Denise Parrish, Chief Administrative Officer and Vice President of Patient Care Services, Ascension Mercy Campus; Katherine McGlynn, behavioral health unit manager, Ascension Mercy; Dan Smith, security officer; Tom Laabs, project manager, Medxcel; Miranda Salzsieder, RN, geropsych unit; and Lauri Steffes, RN, geropsych unit.