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MultiCare Health System and CHI Franciscan Health approved to build psychiatric hospital in Tacoma

Posted on Jan. 15, 2016 ( comments)
Allenmore Building A

Construction on the new psychiatric hospital, to be located on the Allenmore campus, is slated to begin in 2016 and expected to be complete in 2018.

Residents of Pierce County and the surrounding areas will have better access to desperately needed mental health services with approval of a new psychiatric hospital today.

The Washington State Department of Health approved an application from MultiCare Health System and CHI Franciscan Health to jointly build and operate a $41 million, 120-bed not-for-profit psychiatric hospital in Tacoma.

“We are pleased that the Department of Health has approved our Certificate of Need to build a new behavioral health hospital in Tacoma,” said CEO of CHI Franciscan Ketul J. Patel. “This hospital will serve a critical need for many people in our communities. We look forward to treating patients in this new hospital and truly help meet the behavioral health needs for adults in Pierce and South King counties.”

The new psychiatric hospital will be built on the MultiCare Allenmore Hospital campus, located at 1901 S Union Avenue in Tacoma. Construction is slated to begin in 2016, and it is expected to be completed in 2018.

To operate the new hospital, CHI Franciscan and MultiCare created an independent, not-for-profit organization, the Alliance for South Sound. The entity and plan for this joint venture were formed in response to an increasing need to provide mental health services in Pierce County and surrounding areas.

“We are thrilled to be able to bring a new psychiatric hospital to Pierce County,” said Bill Robertson, president and CEO of MultiCare Health System. “There is a severe shortage of psychiatric services in our state and particularly in Pierce County. We applaud the leadership of the Washington State Department of Health in recognizing the urgent need for more inpatient psychiatric beds here in Pierce County.”

Locally founded and the largest health systems in Pierce County, CHI Franciscan and MultiCare have a history of successful collaboration to provide local solutions for improved health care in the community, including a jointly operated trauma services program and joint ownership of the Carol Milgard Breast Center in Tacoma, managed by TRA Medical Imaging.

Currently, Washington state ranks near the lowest in the nation in terms of inpatient psychiatric capacity. Pierce County ranks at the bottom of all urban counties in Washington, with 2.8 beds per 100,000 residents. The national average is 26.1 beds per 100,000 residents.

This approval is the culmination of a yearlong process. MultiCare and CHI Franciscan filed a Certificate of Need Application with the Washington State Department of Health on Dec. 16, 2014. 

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