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Saint Francis Memorial Hospital Expands Behavioral Health Unit to Support Community Need

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Additional beds could serve up to 40 more at-risk patients each month

SAN FRANCISCO (Oct. 30, 2019) – Dignity Health Saint Francis Memorial Hospital has expanded its inpatient behavioral health unit to care for up to 40 more patients struggling with severe mental health disorders each month.

“At Saint Francis, our mission is to care for the most vulnerable in our community,” said President and CEO David Klein, MD, MBA. “We are seeing a high demand for behavioral health services, especially for patients suffering from substance use disorder and homelessness, so we took this important step to expand charity care.”

The expansion opens six additional beds for acute psychiatric care, increasing total beds from 24 to 30, and making Saint Francis’ behavioral health unit one of the largest for acute psychiatric care in the City.

“To address our mental health crisis and help the people in our city who are truly struggling on our streets, we need all of our community partners to step up and provide more care,” said Mayor London N. Breed. “These new beds at Saint Francis are a good first step, and we all need to be committed to continuing to do more. Working together, we can make a difference for our most vulnerable residents and for our city.”

In order to best serve patients in the unit, staffing will increase proportionately, including an additional social worker to help link patients with community resources or post-acute care after discharge.

“We’re being proactive to respond to a need we’re seeing every day,” said Jennifer Leong, MD, medical director of the Saint Francis Behavioral Health Unit. “We want to surround more at-risk patients with appropriate care and link them to services they might not be able to access on their own.”

“GLIDE and Saint Francis have complementary missions, and we’ve been longtime partners in taking care of the most at-risk members of our community,” said Kenneth Kim, PsyD, director of behavioral health services for GLIDE. “We applaud the decision by Saint Francis to expand care for this population.”

Funding for the expansion comes from the Saint Francis Foundation and the hospital’s annual community benefit commitment. Saint Francis currently provides more than $7 million per year in unreimbursed mental health services.

About Saint Francis Memorial Hospital

Dignity Health Saint Francis Memorial Hospital is an accredited, not-for-profit community hospital that has been providing exceptional healthcare in San Francisco for more than 100 years. Located atop Nob Hill and adjacent to the Tenderloin District, Saint Francis is home to one of the City’s busiest emergency rooms, the Bothin Burn Center—the largest burn unit in Northern California—as well as the Saint Francis Orthopedic and Sports Medicine Institute, and the Gender Institute. With its close proximity to downtown San Francisco, Saint Francis also specializes in Occupational Health and Emergency Medicine. Saint Francis has been designated as a Blue Distinction Center for Spine and Hip/Knee Replacement Surgery and is a Certified Stroke Center by the Joint Commission. For more information, call (415) 353-6000 or visit

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Publish date: 

Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Media Contact

Christine McMurry, Director of External Communications

p: (415) 250-4440

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