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Mental health facility opening soon by Saint Marys

Rochester’s growth is attracting more than just hotels and luxury apartments.

Construction of a 16-bed residential treatment complex is in the final stages on 14th Avenue Southwest, across from Mayo Clinic Hospital-Saint Marys Campus.

Mayo is collaborating with Maryland-based nonprofit ClearView Communities to build and manage the John E. Herman Home and Treatment Facility, which will offer mental illness recovery care.

Neighbors and commuters in Southwest Rochester have been watching Benike Construction work on the sprawling, gable-roofed project since last summer. The facility is at 335-403 14th Ave. SW, where two older houses owned by Mayo had stood for many years.

Mayo Clinic psychiatrist Dr. Brian Palmer, who will serve as the facility’s medical director, predicts it will be ready for clients this spring.

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The facility, designed by HGA Architects, includes two houses connected by a treatment center. Palmer said Mayo Clinic intends to staff Herman Home with 21 new employees to provide care and around-the-clock support for 16 patients.

"The main focus is helping people with functional recovery as well as symptom reduction," Palmer said. "What often happens is people come in and out of the hospital and struggle to get their lives on track. This allows us to provide a stable living environment to help people to functionally recover, to get jobs and to be able to build a life, while still getting treatment for their psychiatric illness."

He added that Mayo Clinic now refers patients needing this kind of care to other facilities. This will allow them to keep patients closer to home and to Mayo’s psychiatry and psychology department in the Generose Building, just across the street.

ClearView’s founder, Sylvan Herman, is financing the complex, while Mayo is providing the staffing. It’s named in memory of Herman’s son, who was diagnosed with schizophrenia and inspired the creation of the ClearView Communities treatment facilities. There are four similar facilities in Maryland.

"We believe the work that Clearview is doing on functional recovery is an important model that we are adopting and combining with our expertise," Palmer said.

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