Mental health facility coming to McCleary

A 16-bed behavioral health facility may be open as early as September or October 2017 at the old Mark Reed Hospital in McCleary, said representatives of Summit Pacific Medical Center and Great Rivers Behavioral Health. The in-patient facility would receive short-term psychiatric patients.

In September, Great Rivers Behavioral Health received a state Department of Commerce grant of $2 million to develop the facility, Todd Broderius, Great Rivers chief integration officer, said. Great Rivers now will oversee requests for application for a mental health service provider to remodel and eventually manage the facility.

“Choosing Mark Reed and McCleary was solely based on the generous offer from Summit Pacific Medical Center to lease the site to us for a nominal fee. Remodeling the Mark Reed site is much more cost-effective, and lent itself perfectly to the Department of Commerce grant process,” Broderius said in an email.

He said Great Rivers did not have further facilities slated for Grays Harbor County, and would focus on investing in the one program at this point.

Great Rivers is one of nine behavioral health organizations (BHO) that act as a fiscal-agent for publicly-funded mental health and substance-use disorders. These types of organizations were created in April 2016, replacing the regional support networks which previously provided mental health services for those on Medicaid or were without insurance. The BHOs contract with the Department of Social and Health Services, Division of Behavioral Health and Recovery.

Renée Jensen, chief executive officer for Summit Pacific, said while Summit Pacific’s role was limited to leasing the Mark Reed Hospital building, a behavioral health unit was needed in the county.

People with mental health or dependency issues and who are in crisis often are held in the emergency room of local hospitals such as Summit Pacific Medical Center, Jensen said.

“We support the patients medically and make sure they are physically OK, but we do not offer the specialized mental health care that these patients need. They sometimes wait for weeks for a bed to open at hospital that can treat them,” Jensen said.

According to a press release from the Department of Commerce, the $2 million will go toward construction and equipment costs associated with establishing a mental health facility needed to accommodate increased psychiatric admissions.

“It’s an amazing opportunity for the area. It will bring in jobs and bring life to a site that was mothballed,” Jensen said.

According to Wendy Collins, McCleary clerk/treasurer, the city has not received any permitting yet for the facility.

“We had just heard that they received some funding,” Collins said. “And maybe there’s some matching (of funds) that goes along with that, but we don’t have any information on it as far as their plan.”