OSF seeks to build the largest mental health hospital in the state of Illinois

OSF HealthCare is seeking regulatory approval to build a 100-bed psychiatric facility in Peoria. It would be the largest adult psychiatric hospital in Illinois, south of Chicago.

In this edition of Sound Health, OSF’s director of behavioral health medical services, Dr. Samuel Sears, explains that the facility would help address a severe shortage of psychiatric beds across the region.

“Each of the hospitals that have an inpatient unit is very often full and ends up having to send people quite significant distances, often even in the Chicagoland area where there are more beds available,” Sears said.

Additional assistance from Sears close to home helps families stay more involved in treatment plans.

Sears said OSF has seen more patients in crisis from the COVID pandemic and that put more stress on the system.

History of the US health vest

The for-profit company working with OSF HealthCare to build a psychiatric hospital in Peoria has suffered numerous health and safety violations at a hospital it operates in Washington State. Problems at Smokey Point Behavioral Hospital in Marysville, Washington prompted that state to reject an offer from US HealthVest of New York to build another hospital.

After the media surfaced about the problems surrounding Smokey Point, a Massachusetts health company gave up plans to partner with US HealthVest on a mental health facility there. Washington inspectors reported that a common complaint from Smokey Point workers was that the facility was understaffed.

US HealthVest would be the majority owner of Peoria mental health hospital, Sears said.

Sears said he couldn’t talk about the alleged breaches at Smokey Point, but said it’s not uncommon for inspectors to find areas for repair or repair at any health facility.

“I would never belittle the findings that have been found in various states, but I will say that part of the challenge is that there is always an evolution of what needs to be met in terms of satisfactory inspections,” Sears said, adding that OSF has referred patients to US HealthVest facilities in Chicago and had no problems.

“The facilities within Illinois have been (provided) with excellent care. I see no reason not to continue, “Sears said, adding that one of US HealthVest’s mental health hospitals in Chicago is one of the few in Illinois that can provide dual diagnosis for mental health and treatment for mental health. substance abuse for Medicaid patients.

Sears said US HealthVest will handle staffing at the psychiatric facility because for-profit companies are able to pay more for staff. She said it is significant given the shortage of behavioral health workers.

“It can be difficult in this market right now to get a high level of staff, having to follow the principles of nonprofits,” said Sears.

Sears said the hospital, which would be built on an OSF-owned property on Route 9 in Illinois near other OSF HealthCare facilities, would generate about 200 jobs.

Faith treatment

As a Catholic health organization, Sears said OSF HealthCare will make faith counseling and resources available to any patient in need of psychiatric care.

“This is something we don’t shy away from,” Sears said. “We’re happy to work with them to add that pillar of faith as part of their treatment, but it’s not something we’re pushing on any individual who doesn’t even want it as part of their treatment.”

Sears said it believes OSF’s commitment of faith is also embodied in the assistance provided to someone, regardless of their ability to pay.

OSF hopes to open the facility by the end of 2024 or the beginning of 2025.

A spokesperson said OSF does not yet have a cost estimate for the project.

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