Joint venture collaboration will increase behavioral health and chemical dependency treatment services

St. Elizabeth Healthcare, SUN Behavioral Health and NorthKey Community Care have joined forces to develop a community-wide solution to the lack of access to inpatient behavioral health and chemical dependency resources for children, adolescents and adults in Northern Kentucky.

The partnership will result in a new 197-bed, free-standing and comprehensive specialty hospital designed to improve the behavioral health environment in the community. St. Elizabeth plans to transfer 140 of its behavioral health and chemical dependency beds to the new facility. NorthKey Community Care plans to transfer its behavioral health beds to increase overall bed capacity to the new hospital when completed. The hospital will be jointly owned by St. Elizabeth Healthcare and SUN Behavioral Health. The preferred location is in Kenton County. Various approval processes are under way but take time.

The joint venture complements other recently announced initiatives that will add to the overall services available in Northern Kentucky, including St. Elizabeth’s partnership with Hazelden/Betty Ford, the integration of behavioral health counseling services into St. Elizabeth Physicians primary care practices, and the behavioral health/chemical dependency screening programs implemented in physician practices and maternal fetal offices.

The new facility will enhance the environment of care for patients, providers and families. A behavioral health emergency department will provide specialized assessment and treatment to patients and families in times of crisis. Specialized inpatient wings will group patients into personalized programs to provide for the unique requirements of patients according to their ages and behavioral health needs. These programs will create an ideal environment for group therapies and individualized care.

In addition, this partnership provides an opportunity to develop:

  • Comprehensive behavioral health services based on proven best practice models.
  • Increased access and education for the community.
  • Improved coordination of existing services and resources in the community to extend the continuum of care for patients focusing on each organization’s strengths and capabilities.
  • Improved safety for behavioral health patients in the specialty hospital emergency department.
  • Serene and therapeutic environment designed specifically for patient population needs.
  • A full array of services with tailored treatment options and comprehensive inpatient and outpatient care.
  • A more appropriate portal of admission for behavioral health patients in crisis than what currently exists.
  • The ability to attract additional behavioral health and chemical dependency providers.