DAVIDSON – Groundbreaking began April 12 for the new Carolina HealthCare System’s new $36 million, 67,280-square-foot Behavioral Health Campus in Davidson.

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 10,000-square-foot building specifically designed for outpatient care and therapy.

Inpatient services at the hospital will be for adults, while outpatient services will be offered for adults and children in the medical office building.

“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, CEO 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.”

The 66-bed behavioral health hospital and an adjacent outpatient services building are under construction on a 22-acre site on the Davidson side of N.C. 73 near Bradford Park in Huntersville.

The 66 beds will be a transfer of inpatient psychiatric beds from Broughton Hospital in Morganton.

Transfers of psychiatric beds are occurring in other communities across the state due to policy encouraging the transfer of beds from state psychiatric hospitals to community facilities.

Construction begins this month and is scheduled to be completed in 2014.

“I decided to pick up my family and move halfway down the coast to the Carolinas for one reason,” said John Santopietro, chief clinical officer of Behavioral Health Services at Carolinas HealthCare System. “Because there is a cultural moment here like no other in the country. There is something important happening here at Carolina HealthCare System and this is a great moment of opportunity.”

The design of the hospital will allow for future expansion by adding more space if a need is determined, and if additional beds are approved by the state.

Large activity and living areas will open to self-contained landscaped courtyards for outdoor recreation in a private, secure environment. 

The facility will create 155 jobs, including physicians and other staff members.

The multi-disciplinary treatment team will include doctors, nurses, therapists, recreation therapists and discharge planners who will work with patients and families toward recovery from their illnesses.

“We are proud that you will become a part of our community,” Davidson’s Mayor John Woods said. “Like all communities, we have learned first hand of the crisis in mental healthcare and the great need for more facilities and care providers. Your presence in this community is very important to this entire region. We know that mental health may be difficult to talk about, but we as a community must acknowledge it, we must take steps to strengthen individuals, which in turn strengthens the community.”

Visit www.HuntersvilleHerald.com for an architectural rendering of the new facility.