A health care company with ties to New York has elaborated on its plans for a 75-bed psychiatric hospital in Thurston County in plan details submitted to the state Department of Health.
US HealthVest earlier made its plans for the area known with a letter of intent to the same agency, but the letter offered little beyond the county, number of beds and an estimated cost.
However, the certificate of need application, which is required for proposed changes to health care facilities in the state, numbers more than 300 pages, identifying a working name and details for the project.
The South Sound Behavioral Hospital is being proposed for 605 Woodland Square Loop SE in Lacey’s Woodland District. That’s the site of an office building that was once occupied by the state Employment Security Department. That building, plus a number of other buildings on Woodland Square Loop, are owned by MJR Development of Kirkland.
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MJR snapped up the properties following the recession and is working to renovate and fill the mostly vacant office buildings.
“I’m aware of US HealthVest’s having a keen interest in the 605 building,” MJR partner Mark Lahaie said last week, but he deferred comment to another partner, Mike McClure, who is more closely involved with the property. McClure could not immediately be reached.
The US HealthVest plan proposes spending $18.4 million to renovate the building into a 75-bed hospital, which would employ about 150 and open in late 2017 or early 2018, said HealthVest president and CEO Richard Kresch on Thursday. Kresch spent 20 years as a practicing psychiatrist at Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center in New York City, according to the application.
He said he’s not certain that Woodland Square Loop will be the location of the hospital, but he said it’s a good location that could easily be converted for their use.
“We think the need in Thurston and surrounding areas is strong,” said Kresch about the demand for mental health services.
The application adds: “The population in the proposed service area — Thurston, Mason, Lewis and Grays Harbor counties — has grown nearly 13 percent in the past 10 years,while the psychiatric bed capacity, which is already extremely low, has not increased.”
According to the application, psychiatric services would be offered to adults, seniors, children and adolescents, veterans and active-duty military. There would be women only, mother-infant, faith-based mental health and chemical dependency, dual-diagnosis, and pain management programs.
“The facility will offer a safe environment, a structured and supportive milieu, and intensive psychiatric and physiological therapeutic interventions,” the application reads. “South Sound Behavioral’s programs will be interdisciplinary and will include at least registered nurses, certified nurse assistants and social workers. Each patient will have an attending psychiatrist.”
HealthVest is building a similar facility in Marysville.
Anyone who requests a public hearing on the application must do so by 5 p.m. April 12, said Janis Sigman, the Department of Health’s certificate of need manager. If there’s a request for a hearing, it likely would be held in Lacey, she said. Written comment on the application is being accepted until 5 p.m. May 2.
Send a public hearing request or written comments to Department of Health, Certificate of Need Program, mail stop 47852, Olympia, WA 98504-7852.