Advocate Aurora Health Illinois Masonic Medical Center Counseling & Pediatric Development Center
As society grapples with an increasing demand for specialized mental healthcare, Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center, part of the Advocate Aurora Health system, has been at the forefront of caring for this often-underserved patient population. The medical center built upon its commitment when it provided a stand-alone outpatient clinic dedicated to specialized behavioral healthcare.
The Behavioral Health Services and Pediatric Development Center creates a clinically advanced yet calm healing environment that serves two key patient groups. Behavioral Health Services (BHS) is a community mental health center that provides a range of outpatient individual, family, couple and group psychotherapy services in addition to case management and psychiatric medication services. BHS serves children, adolescents, and adults who present across many mental health diagnoses.
The clinic’s atmosphere is one of serenity and empathy, with ample natural light facilitated by floor-to-ceiling windows, a calming, cool color palette, and natural materials. It employs universal design principles, ensuring those of all ages and abilities can benefit from the views and surroundings intended to uplift the human experience. At the same time, the building is well-suited to address a range of patient needs. Various waiting areas are tailored to the needs of different patient populations. In the PDC, a gym facility includes a rock-climbing wall and gymnastics equipment for physical therapy and gross motor skills development. At BHS, group therapy rooms are built with hybrid technology as the field has significantly incorporated telehealth services during the pandemic.
The four-story building has flex space for growth with the structural capability to add two more floors. Although this new center condensed square footage for both programs, careful planning has maximized space for clinical therapies and treatment. For the BHS, a full mock-up of a treatment room with various furniture configurations enabled clinicians to confidently approve a more efficiently sized space, which allowed for more rooms overall. Additional space was also achieved in the PDC by transitioning from private staff offices to an open office environment already embraced in other Advocate medical centers.
Sited directly across from the main hospital, the building’s location and design make a powerful statement about bringing dignity and equitable care to every patient population.