The Klein Family Harford Crisis Center

Lyle E. Sheldon, president/CEO of University of Maryland Upper Chesapeake Health (center), and Harford County Executive Barry Glassman (front row, second right) join members of the Klein Family and other community leaders including Steve Schuh, executive director, Maryland Opioid Operational Command Center (front row, third left), and Russell W. Moy, MD, MPH, health officer, Harford County Health Department (front row, second left), at a ribbon cutting for The Klein Family Harford Crisis Center May 28.

BEL AIR — Harford Crisis Center, the first co-funded, public/private partnership in Maryland to offer 24/7 behavioral, mental health and addiction services, was named in honor of the Klein family at a ribbon-cutting ceremony on May 28. It will be known as The Klein Family Harford Crisis Center.

The Klein family is a pillar of the Harford County community and has long championed quality health care by partnering with and supporting initiatives implemented by University of Maryland Upper Chesapeake Health (UM UCH). A video tribute to Andy Klein was shown during the ceremony, which was attended by about 150 guests.

“We are so grateful to the Klein family for their vision and leadership gift in support of the crisis center,” said Lyle E. Sheldon, president/CEO of University of Maryland Upper Chesapeake Health. “Andy Klein was a visionary and leading proponent of the Harford Crisis Center as well as a generous supporter. We thank the Klein family for their generosity in allowing us to name this life-changing center in their honor.”

“We are humbled as a family to support this project and the critical community asset that The Klein Family Harford Crisis Center represents,” said Howard Klein.

“Our family has supported health care in Harford County, starting with our mom and dad. Andy was a highly engaged and effective director on both the UM UCH and the Upper Chesapeake Health Foundation boards for more than a decade; knowing how he was a leading proponent in bringing the crisis center forward, it is rewarding to have our family’s name associated with serving those struggling with behavioral, mental health or addiction,” said Michael Klein.

Speakers at the ceremony included Sheldon of UM UCH; Harford County Executive Barry Glassman; Russell W. Moy, MD, MPH, health officer, Harford County Health Department; and Steve Schuh, executive director, Maryland Opioid Operational Command Center.

Located at 802 Baltimore Pike in Bel Air, The Klein Family Harford Crisis Center will offer a 24/7 alternative to emergency department treatment for adults experiencing a behavioral health crisis. Its array of services, available in one non-hospital location, is expected to significantly reduce the number of emergency department visits and inpatient admissions for Harford County residents in need of behavioral health services. The crisis center will serve individuals with mental health and/or substance use needs in a more comfortable, efficient setting, appropriate to their needs.

The center is managed by UM UCH in partnership with Harford County Government, Healthy Harford/Healthy Cecil, Harford County Health Department, Office on Mental Health/Core Service Agency of Harford County Inc. and the Affiliated Santé Group.

“The Klein Family Harford Crisis Center is an example of our community identifying a great need and coming together quickly to provide a solution,” Sheldon added. “Less than two years ago, discussions began with many stakeholders about how to help those in need of behavioral, mental health and addiction services. I am so grateful for the public/private partnership that made The Klein Family Harford Crisis Center a reality in such a short period of time.”

The crisis center opens to guests on Monday, June 10. It will serve adults who are voluntarily seeking behavioral/mental health or substance use health care in a safe and comfortable setting.

Services include a 24/7 hotline (800-NEXT-STEP, 800-639-8783 or 410-874-0711), a 24/7 Mobile Crisis Team, a 24/7 behavioral health walk-in urgent care clinic and 24/7 residential crisis services. UM UCH also will provide outpatient psychotherapy and medication management services for mental health issues.

Outpatient substance use treatment provided by Ashley Addiction Treatment will begin in the fall.

“We appreciate our partners in making The Klein Family Harford Crisis Center the first of its kind in the state,” County Executive Barry Glassman said. “It is especially important to me that nearly one-third of the center’s more than 200 hotline calls each month have been for youth under 18. This next phase brings us closer to having one place for families in crisis to access a range of behavioral health and addiction services, any time of the day or night.”

It is expected that The Klein Family Harford Crisis Center will serve between 3,000 to 5,000 people each year.

The majority of people admitted to University of Maryland Upper Chesapeake Health hospitals for medical issues have an underlying behavioral health issue including alcohol and/or substance abuse and mood disorders.

According to the Harford County Health Department, in 2017 the county had the seventh highest number of suicides among Maryland counties.

In addition, Harford County Sheriff’s Office reports that in calendar year 2018 there were 483 overdoses and 86 fatalities. In calendar year 2017 there were 369 overdoses and 81 fatalities. In 2016 there were 234 overdoses and 56 fatalities.

The Klein Family Harford Crisis Center has been designed for the special needs of people in a mental health crisis.

“The services we offer at The Klein Family Harford Crisis Center are so critically important to the health of our community,” said Dr. Richard Lewis, chair of the Department of Psychiatry, University of Maryland Upper Chesapeake Health. “Community is the key word because the community came together to make the crisis center a reality.”

The first phase of the crisis center — a 24/7 hotline — was established in October 2018. A behavioral health expert, who has immediate access to the Mobile Crisis Team as well as up-to-date information about behavioral health and addiction services in the region, answers the hotline.

In addition, the hotline is linked to 2-1-1 Maryland, a 24/7 statewide health and human services referral provider to ensure a seamless approach to anyone in crisis.

“From a public health perspective, addressing urgent substance abuse and mental health issues is a very serious problem in Harford County, and the opening of The Klein Family Harford Crisis Center represents a big step forward toward the solution,” said Russell W. Moy, MD, MPH, health officer, Harford County Health Department.

Ashley Addiction Treatment will be the first tenant to share the center’s space by moving its current outpatient offerings from the University of Maryland Upper Chesapeake Medical Center campus to The Klein Family Harford Crisis Center location in the fall.

Behavioral health encompasses common issues such as anxiety and depression, alcohol and substance-related disorders as well as the lesser occurring issues such as schizophrenia and other psychotic disorders.

More information about the Harford Crisis Center can be found at harfordcrisiscenter.org.

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