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SBUMC Breaks Ground On New Comprehensive Psychiatric Emergency Program Annex

SBUMC Breaks Ground On New Comprehensive Psychiatric Emergency Program Annex

STONY BROOK, NY, June 14, 2010 – With more than 150 in attendance including faculty, staff and community members, Stony Brook University Medical Center (SBUMC) broke ground on its new Comprehensive Emergency Psychiatric Program (CPEP) Annex, a 10,000 square foot state-of-the-art patient care facility that will replace 2,050 square feet of outdated space. The new space will be located adjacent to the Emergency Room on the east side of the Medical Center, and is expected to be complete by fall of 2011.


SBUMC’s CPEP provides hospital-based, round-the-clock, daily emergency psychiatric care. The program provides an organized system for responding to psychiatric emergencies for evaluation, intervention, treatment and referral for individuals who need emergency psychiatric evaluation or treatment.

The staff is comprised of specially trained psychiatrists, social workers, nurses, and nursing assistants who are committed to providing the best emergency psychiatric care. 

“The new CPEP Annex will help to meet a growing demand for psychiatric services in Suffolk County and will triple the patient care space available in the existing facility, which has 6,000 visits annually,” said Dr. Mark Sedler, Chairman of the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Health at Stony Brook. “The new CPEP design emphasizes an enhanced psychiatric care environment to meet the needs of our patients.”

Those with a shovel to participate in the official groundbreaking ceremony were Dr. Steven L. Strongwater, CEO, of Stony Brook University Hospital, Dr. Mark Sedler, MPH, Chairman, Department of Psychiatry and CPEP Director, John Kennedy, Suffolk County Legislator, Robin Krajewski, NYS Office of Mental Health, Art Flescher, Suffolk County Department of Health Services, Dr. Peter Baigent, Vice President of Student Affairs at Stony Brook University, Robert E. Detor, President & CEO, South Oaks Hospital, and James L. Tomarken, MD, MSW, MPH, MBA, FRCPC, FACP, Commissioner of the Suffolk County Department of Health Services.



Comprehensive Psychiatric Emergency Program (CPEP)
At Stony Brook University Medical Center

Fact Sheet

Quick Facts


Comprehensive Psychiatric Emergency Program (CPEP)


Stony Brook University Medical Center



Medical Director

Mark Sedler, MD, MPH, Chairman, Dept. of Psychiatry

24/7, 365; 94 clinical providers including physicians, nurses, social workers.

Patient Evaluations

Approximately 6,000 annually

$2.2 million

Current Size

2,050 square feet – Clinical space

Future Size
10,000 square feet – Annex

Expected date of completion

Fall 2011

  • The Comprehensive Psychiatric Emergency Program (CPEP) at Stony Brook is a clinical program of the Stony Brook University Medical Center. 
  • Mark Sedler, MD, MPH is the Director of CPEP. Dr. Sedler is Chairman of the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Science at Stony Brook University. 
  • The Stony Brook CPEP is one of 18 CPEPs in New York licensed by the New York State Office of Mental Health pursuant to § 9.40 of the New York State Mental Hygiene Law. 
  • CPEP was established in 1989 for the purpose of improving emergency psychiatric services in Suffolk County. 
  • The function of CPEP is to provide a psychiatric assessment, crisis intervention and acute treatment where indicated, and to arrive at a disposition which may include admission to an inpatient psychiatric service at SBUH or another community facility, or referral to a variety of outpatient mental health and substance abuse programs.  Referrals for housing and other social services are also provided where needed. 
  • CPEP is staffed 24/7, 365 days of the year by the medical staff of the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Science, and by specially trained nurses, social workers and therapy aides employed by the hospital.  
  • There are 19 board certified psychiatrists, 24 psychiatry residents, 43 nursing staff, 8 social work staff, and other trainees assigned at various times to the CPEP. The current annual hospital budget for the CPEP is approximately $2,200,000.   
  • CPEP evaluates and treats approximately five to six thousand patients a year.  
  • Approximately 20% of patients seen in CPEP are under 18 years of age. Approximately 4% are 65 or older. 
  • About a fourth of patients seen in CPEP are admitted to an inpatient hospital service, either at Stony Brook University Hospital or in one of the other hospitals in the region. 
  • In most cases, a decision about whether or not to admit the patient for psychiatric care is made within a few hours. In some cases patients may be admitted to extended observation beds in CPEP for up to 72 hours in order to provide a more extensive evaluation. 
  • CPEP is the central receiving and triage point for all persons with mental illness detained by the Suffolk County Police Department, by  local municipal police, or transported by the Sheriff’s Department.  
  • The current CPEP occupies 2,050 square feet of clinical space adjacent to the hospital’s emergency room.  A new annex of approximately 10,000 square feet will be built, of which 5,140 will be devoted to clinical use by CPEP. 
  • The hospital’s governing body has approved $7,649,212 for the total project. The budget for construction is $5,346,435. 
  • Construction is scheduled to begin in the summer of 2010 and to be complete in the late summer or fall of 2011. 
  • The new CPEP will include: 
      o   A new “fast track” program with private waiting area and physician office
      o   Dedicated family waiting area and triage desk
      o   Conference room
      o   Separation between adult and pediatric patients with distinct entry, separate milieus, and family rooms
      o   3 double rooms and 4 single rooms for housing patients during extended observation; multiple shower and bathroom facilities
      o   A separate entrance for police-escorted patients and a police waiting area
      o   2 patient interview rooms for greater throughput

An overview of the state-wide CPEP program is available in the New York State Office of Mental Health 2007 Annual Report to the Governor and Legislature of New York State on Comprehensive Psychiatric Emergency Programs at

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