Respite Center administrator named


By Sue Cody


Respite CenterWarren Zimmermann has been named administrator of the new North Coast Respite Center that will open this spring in Warrenton. Nick Benas, director of business operations at Clatsop Behavioral Healthcare (CBH) made the introduction at the CHART (Community Health Advocacy and Resource Team) meeting March 14.


Zimmermann is a registered nurse (RN) who has worked in mental health for a long time. He was director at nursing facilities in the Portland area for eight years and worked at Providence St. Vincent in critical nursing. He began the new job March 7.


The Respite Center will have 16 single rooms. “It’s all private rooms, a nice size, just a really, really nice facility,” Zimmermann says.


Project Manager Marc Chinard worked with law enforcement to make the facility serve the area’s needs, Benas says.


The crisis Respite Center is based on recovery center models, Chinard says. There will be recovery and crisis support for mental health issues seven days a week, and they plan to have nursing staff 24/7. In addition, peer support will be part of the program.


The facility has the capacity to keep two to four rooms in a secure area, where the rooms are not locked, but the hallways could be. There will be a community TV room and guardianship for that area. The other rooms are open and can house some residential clients for up to three months. Depending on the need, all rooms can be open.


“It’s nice to have the flexibility to meet the requirements of people at different levels of need,” Zimmermann says.


The building remodel at the former Coryell’s Crossing on Marlin Avenue in Warrenton is progressing toward the opening. The kitchen equipment is in place and rooms are being readied.


Zimmermann bought a house in Ocean Park, Wash., a couple of years ago with the intention of moving to the area.  “This is a wonderful opportunity to start a new facility and move here,” he says.


“I am really privileged to be part of this process. It is a tremendous opportunity for service to the community and county that really needs it.”


Currently, Zimmermann and Chinard are recruiting RNs and working to establish staffing patterns, admission criteria and administrative duties.


The funds and planning for the development of the North Coast Respite Center has been a collaborative effort led by Greater Oregon Behavioral Health Inc. Organizations who have invested so far in bringing this new resource to the region are Columbia Pacific Coordinated Care Organization, Clatsop Behavioral Health and Providence Seaside Hospital. A coalition of entities interested in health care have made a commitment to keep the Respite Center open.


Mental health coverage is part of the Oregon Health Plan. Private insurance plans will also be accepted at the Respite Center.

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