September 19, 2022
UMass Memorial Health – Harrington Implements Behavioral Health Emergency Service Pod at Southbridge Emergency Department

Ribbon cutting ceremony held at the Emergency Service Pod in Southbridge

SOUTHBRIDGE, MA, September 19, 2022 – UMass Memorial Health – Harrington has opened a new behavioral health emergency service pod in the Emergency Department of Harrington Hospital in Southbridge. A ribbon-cutting ceremony was held at the new facility to officially mark the opening.

The new four-bed pod includes a dedicated nursing station, full bathroom and shower. The expansion will provide a more comfortable and calming environment for patients seeking behavioral health care who may experience longer emergency room stays awaiting inpatient psychiatric placement or further evaluation.

The addition of a dedicated behavioral health emergency pod will also allow for better use of existing emergency department rooms, which are primarily configured for medical use, as well as more efficient patient management and care.

“The need for behavioral health care was already growing before the pandemic, and beginning to stretch our resources. But since the pandemic began, that need has exploded,” said Ed Moore, President of UMass Memorial Health – Harrington. “Patients presenting with depression and anxiety have tripled since the beginning of the pandemic. According to the Department of Mental Health, emergency room boardings have increased by 200 to 400 percent in the state of Massachusetts since June of 2020. And those statistics reflect a greater need for behavioral health care among all ages, including children, teens and young adults. As just one example, national data from the CDC shows emergency room visits by teenage girls following suicide attempts rose by 50% in the past two years.”

“It became clear that greater resources were required to meet the full needs of caring for our community. This expansion will help us to do that, and to continue our commitment to providing innovative, high quality and compassionate behavioral healthcare to Southbridge and surrounding communities,” Moore said.


UMass Memorial Health – Harrington provides outstanding health care to patients in more than 25 communities throughout south-central Massachusetts and northeastern Connecticut. We are dedicated to our role as the health and wellness partner of the people in our communities and we are relentless in the pursuit of healing. Our comprehensive array of health care services and locations provides our patients with unparalleled access to care.  Harrington Hospital in Southbridge provides medical and surgical inpatient care, 24-hour emergency services, inpatient adult psychiatry, an intensive care unit and comprehensive outpatient services. Harrington Hospital at Webster, Harrington at Charlton, Harrington at 169 and Harrington at Sturbridge offer primary care and specialty physicians, diagnostic imaging and more. Harrington Physician Services is our primary care and multi-specialty physician group, UrgentCare Express at Harrington in Oxford serves as a walk-in medical center for non-life-threatening illnesses and injuries, and the Cancer Center at Harrington in Southbridge allows patients to receive advanced, local oncological and hematology care. Visit


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