Partners to open a behavioral health hospital

A combined effort between the two healthcare providers will create a new behavioral health facility in the Grand Rapids area.

Universal Health Services (UHS) and Grand Rapids health care system, Trinity Health, announced the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) approval of a Certificate of Need allowing partners to add 60 adult beds to a joint inpatient psychiatric care facility at Byron Centre.

The new facility will be called Southridge Behavioral Hospital and will accommodate up to 96 beds, including 60 adult beds, as well as 24 previously MDHHS-approved geriatric beds.

“We’re really excited about this,” said Matt Biersack, MD, president of Trinity Health Saint Mary’s. “We believe this is going to help address a huge need within the community as part of a continuum of behavioral health services. This need for hospitalization is important.

“It’s really a lack of inpatient beds that is causing a lot of patients not getting care and really being stuck in care in the emergency departments of hospitals like ours. We hope this will help meet that need and help people get the behavioral health care they need here in the community.

Southridge’s new behavioral hospital will be linked to a growing network of affiliated behavioral health services in the area, including UHS-operated Forest View Hospital and Trinity Health Michigan’s new partnership with Network180 to open a health crisis center behavioral clinic providing walk-in assessment services. base.

UHS, founded in 1979, is one of the nation’s largest providers of hospital and healthcare services. It has approximately 89,000 employees and, through its subsidiaries, operates 28 acute care hospitals, 335 behavioral health facilities, 40 ambulatory care facilities and ambulatory care access points, an insurance offering, a network of doctors and various related services located in 39 states, Washington, DC, Puerto Rico and the United Kingdom. In 2022, UHS was recognized as one of Fortune’s World’s Most Admired Companies and ranked #297 on the Fortune 500.

Trinity Health Michigan, formerly known as Mercy Health, is made up of eight hospitals located throughout the state of Michigan. The health care system offers numerous outpatient care locations, three home care and hospice agencies, and 22 senior residences to provide a full range of patient care.

“Trinity Health, particularly Trinity Health St. Mary’s, is no stranger to behavioral health care,” Biersack said. “We operate a 28-bed psychiatric medical unit. We see this as truly the ability to partner and bring together the compassionate, mission-focused, value-focused care that people associate with Trinity Health St. Mary’s and the expertise and clinical excellence associated with UHS in a model helps meet a community need.

The design of the new hospital will incorporate elements of modern, innovative and evidence-based care that emphasize patient safety.

According to Biersack, the facility will provide basic psychiatric services to inpatients. Programming will be tailored to individual patient needs, with basic psychiatric services and counseling complemented by enrichment activities such as art therapy, music therapy, pet therapy and outdoor activities.

“There will also be counseling and the full range of inpatient psychiatric care, supplemented with things like art therapy and music therapy, outdoor activities, etc.,” he said. “The focus will initially be on adult care.”

Biersack points to the social isolation and mental strain of the COVID-19 pandemic as a contributing factor to the overwhelming need for mental health care services, especially among adult patients.

“It’s a way to address some of that (need), but it’s also why we’re engaged in dialogue with partners like Network180 to help address other elements of this continuum of care. “, did he declare. “We know that this continuum of care in the behavioral health space still has many gaps. I think some of this was already brewing before the pandemic, but the pandemic has only accelerated and heightened the need for additional behavioral health care services and has put incredible stress on all of us in the community. The need is now even greater than it was when we assessed (the plans) before COVID-19. »

Biersack said that in adult mental health care, needs that have been pushed aside by the chaos of everyday life have come to a head in recent years, as adults spend more and more time alone. and without social support. He said he hopes the new facility will help increase adults’ access to care and prevent mental health needs from continuing without treatment.

“I think what we are seeing is that because there is not the necessary preventive outpatient access to services, crises often develop as a result and end up requiring an emergency (visit) or hospital care. We hope to fix this problem, but it’s only part of a bigger picture. This partnership will help address some of these issues as we continue to work with other partners on other aspects of this (acute care) continuum. »

For Biersack, an important part of providing quality care and stemming the influx of patients in need of critical mental health care is cultivating conversations about community and individual mental and behavioral health needs.

“I am grateful that there is a dialogue that creates awareness around the need (so) that we can help meet it with collaboration and partnerships like we speak with UHS. We need to talk about behavioral health, we need to fight the stigma around behavioral health. And I think it’s only by all working together around this issue that we can really respond fully to what’s going on.

Southridge Behavioral Hospital is scheduled to open in 2024. It will be located near Trinity Health Medical Center in Byron Center and is expected to employ approximately 170 full and part-time staff, including doctors, nurses, therapists and mental health technicians. administrative, dietary and housekeeping staff.

Southridge Behavioral Hospital seeks to have between 150 and 200 full-time and part-time staff, including mental health professionals, administrators and environmental staff. Courtesy of UHS

“We envision between 150 and 200 full-time and part-time employees who will be needed; mental health professionals, administrators, dietary and environmental services personnel, etc., to make sure a facility like this is helpful,” Biersack said. “I am thrilled that this brings additional talent to the community that helps close this behavioral gap that we have.

“Our mission is to be a transforming and healing presence within the community. I think the only way to really live this mission is to look at the needs of the community. When we looked at the Kent County Needs Assessment, as it has shown us in the past, mental health is a huge opportunity for our community as a whole. Our goal is to look at the needs of the community and see how we, as a large health system in the region, can play a role. I believe the services described here in partnership with UHS help solve this problem.

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