Willow Brook Geropsychiatric Unit

A typical patient for Willow Brook Geropsychiatric Unit is an older adult who may be experiencing significant losses such as the loss of love one, declining health, failing memory and reduced independence. These losses may lead to feeling depressed, anxious, sad and isolated. They can cause sleep disturbances, inability to cope or function, as well as, thoughts of wanting to die or harm themselves.

Examples of People We Help

These are only examples, and are not actual OVH patients*

  • Now aged 84, Frank, post-CVA with right–side neglect, lives in a personal care home. He ambulates with the aid of a walker. Frank is not eating and has lost 10 pounds. He is frequently tearful and is difficult to motivate to get out of bed, often stating that he wishes to die.
  • John, who is 63, has a history of chronic paranoid schizophrenia. He lives in a group home and sees his outpatient psychiatrist monthly. Within the past two weeks he has developed insomnia and is expressing new delusions about having cancer. John is paranoid about his roommate, and is having thought of hurting him.
  • Mary, at 55 suffers from hypertension, diabetes, and hypothyroidism. She is recently divorced with financial difficulties and has been experiencing panic attacks and thoughts of harming herself. She cannot guarantee her safety outside of the hospital.
  • Seventy-five–year–old Henry has Parkinson’s disease, for which he takes three anti-parkinson medications. He is experiencing visual hallucinations, confusion, and anxiety. He lives at home with his wife and normally attends an adult day program but worsening symptoms have limited his attendance and her ability to properly care for him.
  • Ruth, now 74, is in the early stages of presumed Alzheimer’s disease. She has started to pace and engage in hand-wringing, repeatedly asks to see her mother, and has become resistant to care. She spits out her medication and is wandering outside at night.
  • Julie, at 64, has a long history of Bipolar Disorder. She hasn’t slept or attended work over the last 4 days. She has rapid pressured speech, racing thoughts and has been making large purchases.

If you feel you may have one or more of these signs and symptoms, please contact our Willow Brook Geropsychiatric Unit.

  • Changes in sleep patterns
  • Frequent mood swings, including agitation, crying, anxiety, and anger
  • Loss of interest in regular activities
  • Changes in appetite
  • Disregard for personal appearance
  • Sad or blank look on face
  • Thoughts of suicide
  • Forgetfulness, disorientation, or confusion
  • Social isolation
  • Reliance on alcohol or medications

Willow Brook is located at Heritage Valley Kennedy and provides short-term, typically 8-10 day, inpatient services to men and women over the age of 55 who have mental health needs. Our unit is unique and one of the only Geropsychiatric facilities in Western Pennsylvania. Because our unit works in close tandem with Heritage Valley Kennedy’s medical services staff, we ensure that both medical and psychiatric needs are effectively addressed simultaneously.

Our Comprehensive Services

  • Assessment and diagnosis
  • Medication management
  • Individual, Group, and Occupational Therapies
  • Dietary and Rehabilitation consultation
  • Discharge planning
  • Neuropsychological Testing available by consultation

Heritage Valley Kennedy accepts most forms of insurance. For more information, visit our brochure below.

Visiting Hours

Our visiting hours are Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday from 6:00p.m.-8:00p.m., and Wednesday, Saturday, Sunday from 1:00p.m.-3:00p.m. and 6:00p.m.-8:00p.m.

Location and Contact Us

We are located on the 3rd floor of Heritage Valley Kennedy. To access our unit, you may take the elevator located closest to the Cafeteria. When you get off of the elevator on the 3rd floor, take a right to the next hallway.

For information about getting the help you need or help your loved one needs, call: (412) 777–6420.

Physician Biography

Maher Ayyash, M.D.
Dr. Maher Ayyash is the Medical Director of our Willow Brook Geropsychiatric Unit. He is also the Medical Director of Ohio Valley Outpatient Psychiatry center. Dr. Ayyash earned his medical degree from Alexandria University in Alexandria, Egypt, and completed residencies in psychiatry at the Duke University Medical Center in Durham, North Carolina, and the University Of Kansas School Of Medicine in Wichita. A frequent presenter of grand rounds and in-service programs, Dr. Ayyash often gives lectures across the United States. He is also a psychiatry liaison and consultant for numerous international institutions and universities.