Cooley Dickinson receives $20K donation in honor of retired sheriff

Money will go to mental health area

Hampshire County Sheriff Robert Garvey is seen here giving an interview to 22News in January of 2016.

NORTHAMPTON, Mass. (WWLP) – The Hampshire County Deputy Sheriff’s Association donated $20,000 to Cooley Dickinson Hospital’s emergency department in honor of retired Sheriff Robert Garvey.

The money will be used to name an observation station inside the emergency department’s dedicated mental health area.

Garvey served as Hampshire County sheriff for 32 years before announcing his retirement last February.

“This is a lasting gift that represents the dignity, compassion, and care Sheriff Garvey has demonstrated over his decades-long career,” said Maureen Callahan, treasurer of the Hampshire County Deputy Sheriffs Association.

In a release sent to 22News from Cooley Dickinson Health Care, Callahan says the mission and insight of both Garvey and his successor Patrick Cahillane mirror Cooley Dickinson’s concern and care for people in the community.

The mental health area within the hospital’s emergency department was created to offer a more calm and controlled environment for mental health patients to get evaluated.

Before Cooley Dickinson opened the dedicated area, mental health patients would wait hours, sometimes days, in emergency department hallways before being admitted or transferred due to the shortage of psychiatric beds in Massachusetts.

Study: Mentally ill patients experience longer ER wait times