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DHS news release

July 25, 2007

Contact: Jim Sellers 503-945-5738
Program contact: Kerry Kelly 541-276-0810 ext. 326

Eastern Oregon Psychiatric Center in Pendleton gets a new name - officially

A new sign designating the 60-bed Eastern Oregon Psychiatric Center in Pendleton as Blue Mountain Recovery Center is expected to be completed and installed by October.


For the past two years, pending formal legislative approval, the hospital has been using both names. The Blue Mountain Recovery Center name was recommended by people receiving treatment and reflects the hospital’s recovery orientation, which has received attention nationally among mental health professionals.


“We wanted to focus more on the positive, to have our name say the hospital is for short-term treatment as clients begin their recovery,” said Superintendent Kerry Kelly. “Treatment here is similar to going to a medical hospital for a broken leg – the hospital stabilizes and treats you but your recovery actually takes place in the community.”


The new name was recommended by patients, who also designed a new logo incorporating an image of the regional mountain range. The name change, authorized by legislative approval of Senate Bill 155, also will be reflected in telephone books and hospital stationery, Kelly said.


Kelly said examples of the facility’s recovery philosophy include use of recovery-oriented treatment techniques supported by UCLA research; a client advisory board, which recommended the new name; educating and training clients to mentor others with mental illness upon discharge, based on a successful model in New York state; liberalized phone and Internet privileges so people receiving treatment in the hospital can more easily maintain contact with family and friends in the community; and a welcome packet to orient people when they are first admitted.


Kelly said those who are diagnosed with both mental illness and an alcohol addiction may attend daily Alcoholics Anonymous meetings when they are deemed appropriate to spend time in the community. Up to half of patients also are employed, she said.


“Our goal is to get people thinking about recovery and return to the community as soon as possible,” Kelly said. The hospital’s average length of stay is 80-90 days.


Blue Mountain Recovery Center is operated by the Oregon Department of Human Services, which also operates Oregon State Hospital campuses in Salem and Portland.