Two members of the Froedtert Hospital Foundation Board are supporting the launch of a Complexity Intervention Unit (CIU) at Froedtert Hospital aimed at developing treatment programs that integrate care for illnesses and injuries as well as behavioral health problems. The CIU will be the first of its kind in Wisconsin when it opens in 2022.

The Werner Family Foundation is committing a gift of $150,000 and the PNC Foundation is contributing $25,000 to help develop the CIU. Both gifts were announced at a recent foundation board meeting.

“Mental health in our community has been overlooked and is a real public health crisis,” said Teddy Werner, Froedtert Hospital Foundation board member, in announcing the gift. “This specialized medical unit will give our community access to the latest and most effective treatment options in a safe and healing environment.”

“My family is deeply committed to addressing the behavioral and mental health challenges in our community, and we hope others will be inspired to join us as we sow the seeds for a world-class Complexity Intervention Unit at Froedtert Hospital,” Werner added.

“PNC is delighted to be making a commitment to this important medical priority,” said Chris Goller, Froedtert Hospital Foundation Board Chair and head of corporate banking for the Midwest Region. “Froedtert Hospital is committed to meeting the needs of all patients in the communities we serve, and the CIU will provide critically needed healthcare services to one of our most vulnerable populations.”

The burden of mental health disorders is a critical and growing issue facing communities across the country and in Wisconsin. At any one time, there are nearly 50 patients hospitalized on Froedtert Hospital medical and surgical units with acute illnesses who are also suffering from a noteworthy behavioral health condition — a condition that may complicate their medical care, post-operative course and recovery. Research has consistently shown that patients with mental illnesses have medical problems that are more severe and have a higher risk of dying than the general population.

Caring for these vulnerable patients who suffer from the adverse effects of medical and psychiatric illness is a significant challenge. When completed the CIU will have 24 in-patient beds and a team of highly trained healthcare professionals capable of providing psychiatric and medical interventions concurrently to those with challenging medical and psychiatric health issues such as substance abuse, drug overdose, suicide and neurocognitive conditions along with comorbid acute medical conditions such as neurological disorders, cancer and cardiovascular disease.

Learn more about the Froedtert Hospital Foundation or donate here.