Why Unity

Why we’re here

There is a huge gap in our community in providing care for mental and behavioral health emergencies. Emergency departments are often overcrowded and underequipped to treat these kinds of crises. In some cases, patient conditions can actually deteriorate.

In addition, many patients leave these situations without a clear plan-of-action for ongoing treatment. This lack of long-term solutions often leads patients back to the same or worsening position over and over, creating a cycle of pain, trauma, increasing debt, inadequate care, and even homelessness or incarceration.

How we got here

A team at Legacy Health was working on a solution to this problem when Marcia Randall approached the health system with the hopes of partnering to provide better care for our most vulnerable citizens.

August 2015, Marcia Randall donates $20 million to Unity from The Robert D. and Marcia H. Randall Charitable Trust.

After hearing the team’s proposal and exploring existing organizations across the country who were doing the same type of work, the Unity model began to take shape. The Robert D and Marcia H Randall Charitable Trust pledged a transformational gift of $20 million toward the $40 million capital costs of creating the center. Many other philanthropists, inspired by Marcia’s leadership, joined the monumental effort to find a better way to help people suffering from mental and behavioral health emergencies. Combined with the collaborative efforts of Adventist Health, Legacy Health, Kaiser Permanente, and OHSU, the Unity Center for Behavioral Health was born.


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Who we are

Unity provides 24-hour mental and behavioral health emergency services for adults and longer term inpatient mental health care for both adults and adolescents. Founded on the values of hospitality, hope, and recovery, the center is a joint effort between four major health organizations, and the first collaborative medical initiative of its kind in the Pacific Northwest.

In many ways, we are similar to most emergency facilities across the country, complete with our own pharmacy and cafe. The major difference is that every aspect of our center is specifically designed to care for people experiencing a behavioral or mental health crisis.


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What we do

We take a revolutionary approach to mental and behavioral health emergencies. First, we address the immediate crisis, helping our patients find relief and stabilization through the expert and compassionate care of our dedicated psychiatric physicians, nurses and social workers. Next, our care navigation team creates and coordinates an ongoing treatment plan to be utilized after discharge.


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How we’re different

We are one of the first dedicated behavioral health emergency services to employ our unique model of care. We hope to inspire others across the country to join us in this new method for addressing mental and behavioral health emergencies. Our attributes include:

Dedicated mental and behavioral health emergency services: Our 24-hour emergency center caters only to mental and behavioral health emergencies. Our team of physicians and staff specialize in psychiatry and practice a caring, respectful and interactive approach with patients at all times. Peer support specialists––individuals who have previously experienced a mental or behavioral health emergency, are now in recovery and have received training to help others––provide hope and support to those currently experiencing a mental health crisis.

Care navigation: The goal is that every patient leaves Unity with a path to recovery in place. Our expert social workers and care navigators team up with partner organizations in the community to create and coordinate ongoing treatment plans so that each patient walks out the door with a recovery solution.

Multi-system collaboration: A partnership between four major healthcare organizations––Adventist Health, Legacy Health, Kaiser Permanente and OHSU––offers a collective pool of resources and expertise.

Community-wide support: The greater Portland area, Emergency Medical Services (EMS), police and mental health and addiction service providers have all come together to help create this revolutionary model of care.


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Where we are

Unity Center for Behavioral Health is based in the greater Portland area. We are located on the Legacy Holladay Park campus at 1225 NE 2nd Ave, Portland, surrounded by facilities that can provide ongoing or additional care. We also partner with mental and behavioral health organizations across our community. There are several Tri Met bus and streetcar stops within three blocks of Unity