UNC Health Care names new medical director for WakeBrook Campus

Dr. Brian Sheitman will oversee transition of care at mental health facility.

Media contact: Jennifer James, 919-966-7622, jjames@unch.unc.edu

Thursday, Dec. 6, 2012

RALEIGH, N.C. – UNC Health Care has named a veteran behavioral health clinician as the new medical director for the WakeBrook Campus, a crisis care facility that has been operated by Wake County since it opened in Jan. 2011. Dr. Brian Sheitman will oversee care at WakeBrook as UNC Health Care assumes administration of the facility. Under a letter of intent approved last month by the Wake County Board of Commissioners, UNC Health Care agreed to assume management of WakeBrook, at 107 Sunnybrook Road, Raleigh, starting in January, 2013.

“This is an exciting opportunity for UNC to enhance the care provided for Wake County’s behavioral health patients,” Sheitman said. “Our top goals include ensuring a continuity of care for patients, reducing the strain on hospital emergency departments, and bringing a higher level of care to this important and fragile population. We will create a place where anyone would be comfortable to bring a family member.”

UNC Health Care is seeking approval from state regulators to open a 16-bed inpatient mental-health wing at WakeBrook, similar to the psychiatric unit UNC Health Care runs at its flagship campus in Chapel Hill. The new unit will complement the existing care provided at WakeBrook, including crisis and assessment services, short-stay residential inpatient, medical detox treatment and more.

UNC is working closely with Wake County, Alliance Behavioral Healthcare and other partners to ensure that enhancing services at WakeBrook is one step toward improving all care provided to behavioral health patients. The 16 new beds are part of UNC Health Care’s commitment to develop and operate at least 28 inpatient psychiatric beds in Wake County — and invest up to $30 million to improve inpatient care in the county. Additionally, UNC has committed $10 million to enhance Wake County’s outpatient mental health services.

As UNC assumes responsibility for providing crisis care for behavioral health patients in Wake County, we needed a well-respected leader to serve as medical director at WakeBrook,” said Dr. Jack Naftel, vice chairman of the UNC Department of Psychiatry. “Dr. Brian Sheitman brings valuable clinical and managerial experience to that key role.”

Dr. Sheitman is a clinical professor in the UNC-Chapel Hill School of Medicine's Department of Psychiatry and medical director of the UNC Center for Excellence in Community Mental Health. Before joining UNC, he held various leadership positions at Dorothea Dix Hospital in Raleigh, including serving as its clinical director for five years. He has co-authored more than 50 articles in peer-reviewed journals with a primary emphasis on improving treatment for persons with severe and persistent mental illness.

The UNC Health Care System is a not-for-profit integrated health care system owned by the state of North Carolina and based in Chapel Hill. It exists to further the teaching mission of the University of North Carolina and to provide state-of-the-art patient care. UNC Health Care is comprised of UNC Hospitals, ranked consistently among the best medical centers in the country; the UNC School of Medicine, a nationally eminent research institution; community practices; home health and hospice services in seven central North Carolina counties; Pardee Hospital in Hendersonville, NC; Chatham Hospital in Siler City, NC; and Rex Healthcare and its provider network in Wake County.

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