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WakeMed & SouthLight Announce Community Collaboration

Raleigh, N.C. (September 19, 2017) – WakeMed Health & Hospitals and SouthLight Healthcare announce a collaboration to better serve individuals with behavioral health and substance use disorders in our community.  The WakeMed and SouthLight collaboration aims to expedite and streamline a care process to help patients with behavioral health and substance use disorders access the appropriate services to stay well after leaving a WakeMed hospital.

“Our emergency departments are often the first place people who are experiencing a behavioral health or substance use crisis go for help,” explains Rick Shrum, WakeMed vice president & chief strategy officer.  “We have always been there for our community in times of crisis.  However, these individuals and families need ongoing specialized care that WakeMed does not provide.  Our collaboration with SouthLight Healthcare is one of the things we are doing to ensure our patients with mental health and substance use disorders receive the care they need and deserve.”

That’s where SouthLight comes into play.  Transitional care specialists from SouthLight Healthcare, a premier provider of substance use treatment and mental health services for the Triangle, will join WakeMed in its efforts to expedite patients’ transition to the right behavioral health or substance use treatment services in our community.

“SouthLight’s team of therapists and transitional care specialists will help to ensure that patients get the right levels of specialized care, including care for substance use disorders, mental health conditions, and that social determinants of health are addressed,” says Tad Clodfelter, Psy.D, SouthLight Healthcare President & CEO.  “This is a true, integrated effort through which SouthLight Healthcare, WakeMed and provider partners can improve patient care and outcomes collaboratively.”

“WakeMed and our community are very fortunate to have the expertise of SouthLight available for our patients and families who are experiencing some of the toughest challenges of their lives,” says Shrum.

The WakeMed-SouthLight partnership began September 1.

Statistics of Note:

  • Between 2000 and 2014, North Carolina’s population increased by 25 percent while the number of inpatient psychiatric beds decreased by 50 percent.
  • In FY 2016, WakeMed cared for 3,071 boarding patients and patients who were involuntarily committed.
  • Boarding means that a patient who no longer needs emergency department or hospital care remains in our facility until discharge or transfer to the appropriate services is possible.
  • There are currently only 257 psychiatric inpatient beds in Wake County.

About WakeMed Health & Hospitals

Serving the community since 1961, WakeMed Health & Hospitals is a nationally recognized, private, not-for-profit health care organization founded and based in Raleigh, N.C. The largest health system in Wake County, WakeMed exists to improve the health and well-being of our community by providing outstanding, compassionate, patient- and family-centered care to all.

The 919-bed system comprises a network of facilities throughout the Triangle area, delivering health and wellness services that bring added value to the communities we serve. WakeMed is a leader in cardiac and vascular care, women’s and children’s services, emergency medicine and trauma care, physical rehabilitation, orthopaedics and neurosciences.

Specialty facilities include the WakeMed Heart Center, Children’s Hospital, Women’s Pavilion and Birthplace, Women’s Hospital at WakeMed North, WakeMed Rehabilitation Hospital, Adult and Children’s Emergency Departments and a Level 1 Trauma Center.

WakeMed’s team of more than 8,800 employees, 1,500 volunteers, 1,200 affiliated physicians, and the more than 280 physicians employed by WakeMed Physician Practices use the most advanced technologies along with the best minds and the biggest hearts to ensure the finest quality in health care and community health. For more information, visit

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