As you may have recently read in The Capital newspaper, AAMC is seeking to add an inpatient mental health unit to help close the gap in mental health and substance use treatment in Anne Arundel County. The Capital called the plan “welcome news” for the community. For years, AAMC has been providing many of the mental health and substance use services that our community needs, and partnering with outside agencies to connect patients with appropriate resources. But these services are not enough. In our emergency room, almost half of the patients who need inpatient mental healthcare must wait up to five days for space to open in other hospitals. This can’t continue. Before we can provide an inpatient mental health unit, we must apply for, and be granted, a Certificate of Need (CON) from the Maryland Health Care Commission. We submit our application in February 2016 and look forward to sharing more details of the plans at that time. If you have questions, please contact Ray Hoffman, MD, medical director of behavioral health, at rhoffman@AAHS.org.