Johnston Memorial Hospital, Highlands Community Services partner to bring new mental health services to area


ABINGDON, Va – A partnership between Johnston Memorial Hospital and Highlands Community Services will fund a full-time behavioral health specialist based at JMH beginning spring 2014, expanding the availability of mental health services to the community. 

The new behavioral health specialist will act as a clinical liaison between hospital and local mental health and psychiatric services to assist physicians and nurses with coordinated care for patients with mental health issues. The specialist will provide clinical and diagnostic patient assessments, make recommendations for behavioral health care and participate in treatment team meetings to help identify underlying mental health or substance abuse concerns. Services currently provided by HCS will continue and include prescreening emergency room patients with mental health-related crises.

According to Highlands Community Services’ Executive Director Jeff Fox, the partnership is a major step in providing the best possible comprehensive health care for Southwest Virginia., “We are pleased to enter into this significant partnership with Johnson Memorial Hospital,” said Fox. “In light of recent national events, mental health is now at the forefront of the national health care agenda. Our partnership demonstrates both organizations’ commitment to provide the highest quality of health care, be it behavioral or physical health care needs, for our community.”

Johnston Memorial Hospital CEO Sean McMurray said he is excited about the new opportunity to extend the hospital’s relationship with Highlands Community Services.  “As mental health issues continue to become part of a nationwide discussion, we feel this partnership will help the members of Washington County and surrounding areas by providing exceptional mental health care to our region.  Health care is much more than caring for the physical body – we are committed to serving and caring for the whole person.”

Highlands Community Services is a multi-faceted community service board providing mental health, substance abuse and intellectual disability services to the residents of Bristol and Washington County, Va.  For more information, call 276-525-1550 or visit


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