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Grand Rapids, MI: $62M pediatric mental health center to open in '24; ASD et al.

Aug 5, 2022, Grand Rapids [MI] Business Journal: Pine Rest to add pediatric mental health center
Pine Rest Christian Mental Health Services plans to open a pediatric behavioral health center in late 2024.

The center, which will focus on the mental health needs of adolescents, is in partnership with BHSH System’s Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital.

According to Mark Eastburg, president and CEO of Pine Rest, the two organizations began discussion on a collaborative service approximately four years ago. As the hospitals tend to share patients, a unifying facility seemed like the logical step, he said, and both organizations began planning ways to reduce care gaps through a new program….

As COVID-19 subsides in West Michigan and the need for mental health care continues to rise, Pine Rest was finally able to announce plans for its new facility, the $62 million Pediatric Behavioral Health Center of Excellence, to be located at the organization’s 220-acre campus in southeast Grand Rapids.

“We said, this is our moment to do something that significantly changes the conversation around access to behavioral health services for kids,” Eastburg said of the decision to move forward with the new facility. “And so our few program ideas expanded into something much bigger and much more comprehensive than what we started with. So that’s how we got to the point of a $62 million pediatric behavioral health center.”…

“Also, since we opened our psychiatric urgent care center about four years ago, we’ve been asked over and over again when we have an urgent care center for kids,” Eastburg said.

“That was an opportunity because there’s a lot of kids in crisis that maybe don’t need an emergency room visit but can’t wait four months for an outpatient psychiatric evaluation. The idea here is that they can walk in and get immediate care.”

This new urgent care facility is an expansion of Pine Rest’s current urgent care center but will cater specifically to children, ensuring that they receive critical care in times of need without the extensive wait times that have become standard in mental health care….

In addition to expanding its urgent care capabilities, the new behavioral center also will increase Pine Rest’s capacity for inpatient care. The center will bring Pine Rest’s number of inpatient beds from 36 to 88 for the treatment of high-acuity patients, developmentally disabled patients and pediatric co-occurring (mental illness/substance use) disorders.

Pine Rest also will see additions to its adolescent outpatient services including telepsychiatry for providers, families and patients in rural areas, new specialty clinics for anxiety/obsessive compulsive disorders, depression, autistic spectrum disorders and eating disorders, substance use disorder programming and an evidence-based psychological assessment center for attention-deficit hyperactivity disorders, autistic spectrum disorders, learning disabilities and neuropsychological testing.

A partial hospitalization program also will be added, enabling children in need of intensive therapies or programs but stable enough to be safe in their own homes to receive care that caters to their individual needs….

“We can’t do it (recruit successfully) without the West Michigan business community thriving, and we’re all about helping them and doing our part for the West Michigan community,” Eastburg said. “I feel very fortunate that we (can) recruit people. We’re recruiting people (here) because it sells so well from many different levels, so we’re grateful for the business community for making it a thriving environment.”…

A mockup of Pine Rest’s anticipated pediatric behavioral center. Courtesy Pine Rest Christian Mental Health Services

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