A local behavioral health center is improving its services after receiving $150,000 from the Metroplex Health System Foundation.

The funding, which was announced this week, will go toward renovations and upgrades to the adolescent and adult units of the 60-bed Metroplex Behavioral Health Center. The children’s unit was last renovated in 2011.

“We hope this gift will help improve mental health services by augmenting services for children, adolescents and adults in our community and help increase a chance for those patients and families to live a fulfilling and productive life,” Eric Shephard, Metroplex Foundation’s chairman, said in a news release.

Carlyle Walton, CEO of Metroplex Health System, said financial support from the foundation will allow the center to serve more patients through its mental and behavioral health services.

The center is the area’s only full-service child, adolescent and adult unit. Although the hospital temporarily closed its adult psychiatric unit in late November due a shortage of psychiatrists, according to Metroplex spokesperson Pati Gonzalez-Thomas. It reopened in January.

In addition to renovations, the hospital added five psychiatrists and appointed Jennifer Thomas as director of the Metroplex Behavioral Health Center.

Thomas will provide leadership and strategic planning in addition to economic and clinical program development services for all of the center’s units.

Walton said Thomas has been providing interim leadership at the center since March.

“I look forward to continued success in (mental and behavioral health services), as Jennifer leads a growing team in collaboration with our growing medical staff, to provide the best inpatient and outpatient behavioral services for our community,” Walton said.

Contact Sarah Rafique at srafique@kdhnews.com or (254) 501-7549. Follow her on Twitter at KDHreporter.

I'm the education reporter at the Killeen Daily Herald. Follow me on Twitter at https://twitter.com/SarahRafique

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