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Salem Hospital is more than halfway to raising enough money to unlock a $1.5 million matching donation that will help it transform its behavioral health services.

Last fall, former hospital trustee Mike Davenport and his family’s Davenport Fund pledged to match 150% of a $1 million fundraising goal. The hospital has since raised more than $500,000 toward that goal, in donations ranging from $100 to $350,000. When the goal is reached, the total of $2.5 million will fund services in both inpatient and outpatient settings.

“Our family is pleased to support this area of critical need and now we need the community’s help to get our fundraising across the finish line,” says Davenport, who helps direct charitable gifts from the Davenport Fund, and who served as a Salem Hospital trustee from 1970 to 1991. “Salem Hospital has developed a wide range of innovative programs for patients facing mental health challenges and is quickly becoming one of the leading community hospitals in behavioral health services in the United States.”

Salem Hospital president and chief operating officer Roxanne Ruppel, Mike Davenport, and Karen Davenport

There has been a well-documented rise in the demand for behavioral health services in recent years, leaving health care systems straining to meet wide-ranging patient needs. The increased burden is felt regionally and nationally, impacting care for both chronic and acute conditions.

Salem Hospital has historically earned recognition for being at the forefront of community mental health care, with one-third of its 368 inpatient beds dedicated to behavioral health patients. As a member of Mass General Brigham, Salem Hospital received additional support to open its inpatient behavioral health units in the Epstein Center for Behavioral Health in 2019.

“Salem Hospital’s Epstein Center for Behavioral Health is the largest inpatient behavioral health resource in an acute care hospital the Commonwealth of Massachusetts,” Davenport says. “The commitment they have made is incredible and my wife and I believe strongly in supporting this exceptional facility. It is the best of the best.”

Funds raised through the Davenport Fund Challenge are launching leading-edge care approaches in the community setting, including:

The Bridge Clinic: Designed to stabilize patients with substance use disorders and transition
them into long-term, community-based treatment. Funds will be used to renovate and update the existing clinic, as well as to hire a resource specialist to coordinate community services.

Outpatient Psychiatry: Funds raised through the Davenport Fund Challenge will enable the hospital to
increase staffing for medical assistants in outpatient psychiatry clinics, and more effectively manage
the medication needs of patients with mental health conditions.

Collaborative Care at the Bedside: Implementing a fundamental change in the way psychiatry
consultations are conducted at the hospital, this approach dedicates psychiatric team members to
integrate with inpatient medical and surgical hospital units.

“We are thrilled to be a pacesetter in delivering community behavioral health services,” said Mark
Schechter, MD, Chair of Psychiatry at Salem Hospital.

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