|Michael C. Tarwater, Chief Executive Officer at Carolinas HealthCare System, speaks at the groundbreaking: "This new facility will help to address a severe shortage in beds and service capabilities that has affected not only our immediate region but the entire state."
Carolinas HealthCare System broke ground on a 66-bed behavioral health hospital and an adjacent outpatient services building in Davidson on April 12. The new hospital, located on a 22 acre campus, is designed to meet the critical need for expanded behavioral health services in the Charlotte area.
“Our mission is to address the full spectrum of physical and behavioral health needs that exist in every community that we serve,” said Michael C. Tarwater, Chief Executive Officer at Carolinas HealthCare System. “This new facility will help to address a severe shortage in beds and service capabilities that has affected not only our immediate region but the entire state. We are grateful that the people of this community have been so supportive of this project, and so sensitive to the needs of the patients and families who will benefit from this extraordinary new facility.”
Officials at Carolinas HealthCare System have noted that patients in the Charlotte region must sometimes wait for days to find a suitable inpatient bed. The new campus in Davidson is expected to open in 2014.
“Our mission became the cause for everyone involved – an understanding that mental illness not only touches the community; it touches many of us personally. More and more, people are coming to understand that mental health disorders can be just as serious as other disabling afflictions such as heart disease and cancer,” said Roger Ray, MD, Chief Medical Officer of Carolinas HealthCare System.
“Carolinas HealthCare System was able to design a first-class campus for inpatients and outpatients,” Dr. Ray said. “This campus will have programs that will be the model of innovative care for others to follow. We are creating something here that very few other healthcare systems are doing.”
The behavioral health campus in Davidson will include a two-story, 67,280-square-foot hospital with large activity and living areas that will open to self-contained landscaped courtyards for outdoor recreation in a private, secure environment. The complex also will have a medical office building for outpatient services with 10,000 square feet. The property is on Hwy. 73 about a quarter-mile east of Ramah Church Road.
The hospital will feature all private rooms and will employ about 155 full time staff, including physicians and other clinicians. The design will allow for expansion if a future need is determined, and if more beds are approved by the state. Total estimated cost is about $36 million.
The architect is FreemanWhite. General contractor is Robins & Morton.
The property is close to several Carolinas HealthCare System facilities in the north Mecklenburg County and Lake Norman area, including Huntersville and Cornelius. The site provides easy access to I-77 and I-85 via Hwy. 73, and will allow Carolinas HealthCare System to provide a continuum of care in conjunction with its other facilities.
The new hospital will serve a broad range of patients who suffer from chronic mental health disorders or have more acute, episodic needs such as psychotic, mood or anxiety disorders. It also will offer outpatient behavioral health services for adults and children in a separate building specifically designed for outpatient care and therapy.