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WellSpan Philhaven Harrisburg - Google Maps.JPG

WellSpan Philhaven’s Harrisburg facility, 2601 Herr St., Penbrook. (Google Maps)

Kristi Spangler spent almost a year waiting to get her son, Joseph, into a program for children with autism at WellSpan Philhaven in Harrisburg.

“It’s extremely important,” Spangler said. “He can’t go to school without it.”

Now, she’s bracing for the possibility of another long wait. Her 4-year-old son is one of about 200 children who will lose access to behavioral health rehabilitation services at the Harrisburg location this August.

WellSpan decided to focus its behavioral health efforts in nearby counties where it also offers physical health services, said spokeswoman Cindy Stauffer. The York-based health system is planning to connect patients with other behavioral health providers in Dauphin County.

WellSpan has “a tentative agreement with another local provider” to sell the 2601 Herr St. building that serves as its Harrisburg Philhaven facility, Stauffer said.  The day hospital, after-school program and family-based program will also be acquired by that provider, though Stauffer declined to name the health system.

Separately, WellSpan “is in discussions with other local providers” about how to transition care for its behavioral health patients who have been receiving care at Philhaven in Harrisburg, Stauffer said. “It’s our goal, and our expectation, that every patient will find a new provider who will take care of their needs.”

As a note of disclosure, Transforming Health receives financial support from WellSpan Health.