VHC Well being plans Arlington psychological well being facility with 112 beds

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VHC Well being will construct a brand new psychological well being and rehab facility in Arlington, hospital executives stated Tuesday, relieving stress as a rising want for inpatient care and lack of accessible beds squeeze Northern Virginia and the state.

As envisioned, the $80 million facility, which remains to be topic to state and county approval, would home 5 outpatient behavioral well being packages and at the very least 112 beds on the web site close to the Glencarlyn neighborhood, together with 24 for substance abuse restoration.

“We’re actually enthusiastic concerning the choices that that is going to deliver ahead locally to deal with the scarcity of psychological well being beds specifically,” Arlington County Board member Katie Cristol (D) stated in a joint interview Tuesday with hospital officers asserting the information.

The announcement comes as Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin (R) has proposed increasing funding within the state’s strained behavioral well being system, which serves as a public security web for individuals in want of care.

Underfunded and overcrowded state-run psychiatric hospitals have struggled to maintain up with rising demand, typically leaving individuals court-ordered to inpatient remedy languishing in emergency rooms as they await a mattress.

Youngkin needs to rework Va.’s struggling behavioral well being system

Challenges have been notably acute for Virginia’s youth as want for providers has outstripped capability. Virginia ranked forty eighth within the nation in youth psychological well being in 2022, plummeting from twenty first the earlier yr, based on information from Psychological Well being America.

VHC Well being doesn’t supply inpatient behavioral well being providers within the county, stated Melody Dickerson, its chief nursing officer. And with want growing, the well being system’s present 20-bed inpatient rehab unit is between 90 and 100% full on any given day.

VHC Well being, a non-public nonprofit previously referred to as Virginia Hospital Heart, plans to construct the brand new facility at 610 S. Carlin Springs Rd., the positioning of a former annex that housed an urgent-care heart and pediatric web site. The hospital system had beforehand exchanged the 11.57-acre property with the county as a part of a land-swap deal to accommodate its ongoing enlargement at a campus in North Arlington. About half of the property will now return to VHC Well being.

Civic teams and county leaders had for years debated the way forward for that property, which is present process demolition. It had been thought-about for a public bus or college bus depot, although neither of these makes use of ever obtained approval from county lawmakers.

Cristol stated she hopes the remainder of the positioning will probably be used for pure or inexperienced area. VHC and the county can even be splitting the prices of constructing an underground parking storage to serve each makes use of on the positioning.

County Supervisor Mark Schwartz stated VHC can even be taking over the prices of demolishing present buildings on the positioning.

VHC Well being staffs 71 devoted psychological well being beds at its present services. As soon as the brand new web site is open, the hospital will use that present area for a 14-bed geriatric psychological well being unit.

Behavioral health-care suppliers in Virginia and throughout the nation have been struggling to recruit and retain employees — an issue Dickerson stated has been much less acute at VHC Well being. Julia Ferrier, a spokeswoman for the well being system, stated turnover fell by 7.3 % from 2021 to 2022.

A psychiatry wait record had 880 sufferers; a hospital couldn’t sustain

The brand new VHC Well being facility will settle for all types of insurance coverage, together with Medicaid. The purpose of outpatient packages and different community-based care is to stop individuals from reaching the form of disaster that may finish in hospitalization or incarceration.

“When you consider the continuum of care at present, VHC is absolutely centered on that acute episode,” Dickerson stated. “What this programming does for us is it actually takes on that complete continuum, out of your baseline remedy to intensive remedy to a partial hospitalization program.”

Younkgin’s proposed $230 million plan additionally would put money into pathways designed to maintain individuals out of establishments. He goals to rent 30 cellular disaster groups, fund consumption facilities, increase psychological well being packages in faculties and supply in-home providers to 500 individuals ready for Medicaid waivers.

The strategy is designed to assist relieve stress on overburdened public providers and fill present gaps in care.

The state’s 40 neighborhood providers boards, which give publicly funded behavioral well being providers, face staffing shortages and an amazing demand for providers, a 2022 examine by Virginia’s Joint Legislative Audit and Assessment Fee discovered. Ten % of individuals in state psychiatric hospitals remained within the facility for a median of 79 days after they had been prepared for discharge as a result of they had been ready on neighborhood service boards to complete sure duties.

Cristol stated Arlington’s neighborhood service board had been working carefully with VHC leaders on the main points of enlargement plans.

Jenna Portnoy contributed to this report.



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