Montage Health Celebrates Grand Opening of Ohana’s Revolutionary Innovative Campus for Youth Mental Health Care

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Nov 29, 2023 07:17 pm
MONTEREY, Calif. -- 

Today, Montage Health unveiled its long-awaited Ohana campus, a 55,600-square-foot facility dedicated to changing the trajectory of mental health issues among America’s youth. Made possible by a $106 million gift from Bertie Bialek Elliott, Ohana serves as a beacon of hope and innovation in mental health treatment for youth and families.

This press release features multimedia. View the full release here: https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20231129254009/en/

Philanthropist Roberta

Philanthropist Roberta "Bertie" Bialek Elliott (center) celebrates the opening of Ohana in Monterey, CA, the largest privately funded youth mental health campus and program in the country, along with Susan Swick, MD, MPH, Ohana's Executive Director (left) and Steven Packer, MD, President and CEO of Community Hospital of the Monterey Peninsula and Montage Health (right). (Photo by: J Bushnell Photography)

Ohana, which translates to “family” in Hawaiian, is founded on the principle that mental health treatment should embrace not just the patient but the young person’s entire support network — parents, siblings, grandparents, and friends. This holistic approach includes a wide range of services including prevention and early intervention, family care management, outpatient and residential care, and emergency and crisis services. Treatments are evidence-based and family-centered, delivered by multidisciplinary teams, and may include psychotherapy, medications, and additional therapies like music, art, and occupational therapy.

Steven Packer, MD, President and CEO of Community Hospital of the Monterey Peninsula and Montage Health, expressed optimism and appreciation to the donors, community leaders, media, physicians, and staff in attendance. “Today is a major milestone for Community Hospital and Montage Health, but it’s so much bigger than just us,” Packer says. “Because of the vision and generosity of Bertie Elliott, along with the attraction of world-class medical staff, and support and partnerships with our community, we have created the foremost privately funded mental health campus for youth anywhere in America.”

Susan Swick, MD, MPH, Ohana's Executive Director, highlighted Ohana’s preventative, family-centered philosophy of care. “We believe that mental illness is always treatable, usually curable, and often preventable. Our broader work is to support families, schools, and the community in fostering mental fitness, just as our health system supports physical fitness,” Swick says. “This campus, designed with healing and hope in mind, empowers young people and their families to embark on the work of cultivating resilience and well-being. We believe that Ohana is ‘where hope grows.’”

Designed by global architecture and design firm NBBJ, the Ohana campus is the recipient of numerous design awards, including recognition from the American Institute of Architects and Fast Company magazine. Innovative design features include an outdoor amphitheater, immune-boosting gardens, music and art therapy facilities, gymnasium, café, and spaces that promote group interaction and individual reflection. There is a thoughtfully curated art collection, including artists from around the country; artwork throughout the building supports emotional processing and self-empowerment, and there are dedicated indoor and outdoor areas for all Ohana staff to decompress from what is often stressful and challenging work. The use of cross-laminated timber promotes a low carbon footprint, and the building’s swoops and curves are meant to evoke what Swick terms, “soaring possibilities,” taking inspiration from a children’s museum or public library.

“Neuroscience research shows that the built environment impacts our health and well-being,” says NBBJ design partner Jonathan Ward, FAIA. “It is increasingly important to create behavioral health environments that are healing and therapeutic, especially for children and teens. Ohana represents the intersection of design, science, and health, and serves as a prototype for other behavioral health facilities.”

Located in Ryan Ranch, Ohana serves patients and families throughout Monterey County and beyond, and offers outpatient services with residential services coming in spring 2024.

Packer notes that Ohana is working with schools and educators, pediatricians, parent groups, and others to serve more kids and families beyond the physical campus, and to “meet patients and families where they are, and where they are comfortable.” He says Ohana’s medical experts, including Swick, are frequently called upon to lend perspective and expertise to others around the country who are grappling with the task of addressing youth mental health challenges.

“Adolescent mental health is the public health crisis of our time,” Packer says. “Ohana and Montage Health are part of the solution here in Monterey County, and we hope our work here can be replicated to help more youth across the country.”

FOR MEDIA:

Additional event photos and video are available upon request.

ABOUT MONTAGE HEALTH

Montage Health is the nonprofit parent company of a family of organizations dedicated to improving lives by delivering exceptional care and inspiring the pursuit of optimal health. Through its subsidiaries and its partnerships with doctors and other clinicians, healthcare and community organizations, and most importantly, community members, Montage Health is dedicated to care that is coordinated across all care settings to meet each person’s goals and needs. Montage Health’s family of companies includes Community Hospital of the Monterey Peninsula, Montage Medical Group, MoGo Urgent Care, Aspire Health, Montage Health Foundation, and Montage Wellness Center.

ABOUT OHANA

Ohana is a child, adolescent, and family mental health program of Community Hospital of the Monterey Peninsula. Created in 2018 after a landmark gift from Bertie Bialek Elliott, Ohana’s vision is to create a community in which every child can flourish because they and their families have the knowledge, skills, and support they need in order to grow into healthy and resilient adults. Ohana, a Hawaiian word meaning family, is a family-centered program that provides access to high-quality diagnostic and evidence-based treatments for youth who are experiencing mental illness and focuses on helping youth and families develop mental health to prevent illnesses before they start.

Monica Sciuto (831) 622-2756
Marketing and Communications: (831) 625-4505

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