Carolyn Poirot Business Press Health Care Correspondent
Mesa Springs, the first of three new psychiatric hospitals planned to open in Fort Worth this year, opened to patients Jan. 14. The 72-bed specialty hospital was built on a 9.5-acre site in the middle of a prairie in far southwest Fort Worth. In addition, Oceans Behavioral Hospital, with 48 beds, is slated for completion in March at 6200 Overton Ridge Blvd., just south of Interstate 20, and Haven Behavioral Hospital is on target to open with 36 beds at 1000 St. Louis Ave. in the hospital district by the middle of June. Oceans and Haven will specialize in adult and geriatric patients. Mesa Springs offers comprehensive in-patient treatment, partial hospitalization and intensive out-patient services to treat mental health and addiction disorders in adults and adolescents, said Barbara Schmidt, vice president of Texas operations for Springstone Health, which built and will operate the facility. “We have treatment teams of three psychiatrists, a psychologist, an internist, social workers, licensed professional counselors and recreational therapists,” Schmidt said. “We also offer adjunct therapy including yoga, music, art and pet therapy.” Mesa Springs offers in-house Alcoholics Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous, Al-Anon Family Groups and depression support groups. The hospital has a walking trail and well-equipped exercise room, and each of its three 24-bed units opens to an enclosed, landscaped courtyard with a basketball net. Mesa Springs opened with a staff of 78 employees. Springstone Health also operates a 45-bed psychiatric hospital in Carrollton, that opened in January 2012, and is completing a 72-bed facility, Rock Springs Health, in Georgetown. Rock Springs will open in February, Schmidt said. “Our Carrollton hospital is running full,” she said. “Unfortunately a lot of psychiatric hospitals closed in the ‘80s, and we have been really underserved for a long time.” Extensive market surveys point up the need for more facilities to serve adolescents 12 and over and adults of all ages throughout the state, Schmidt said. Both Oceans and Haven Behavioral have announced plans to specialize in serving adults 55 and older with a primary psychiatric diagnosis. Many of their older patients are expected to have Alzheimer’s disease or other forms of dementia in addition to depression, bi-polar disorder, schizophrenia or other form of mental illness. “Our physical plant in Fort Worth is complete, and we will start the hiring and training process soon,” Mike McCulla, Haven’s senior vice president of business development, told the Fort Worth Business Press on Jan. 15. “We are really focused on Fort Worth right now,” McCulla said. “There is a high need for mental health services, especially for older people in the community.” Haven Behavioral gutted and renovated the 25,000-square-foot space where the old Veterans Administration Clinic building was located at St. Louis Avenue and West Rosedale Street. “We redid the entire structure within the existing footprint of that clinic for a modern, state-of-the-art psychiatric hospital,” McCulla said. The new Mesa Spring hospital is located in far southwest Fort Worth near the intersection of Altamesa Boulevard and Old Granbury Road, within a couple of miles of where Oceans is to open in March. “We are very accessible to Cleburne and Joshua as well as the fast-growing southwest corner of Tarrant County,” Schmidt said. “There is currently nothing in this area of Tarrant County, and Huguley is at least 15 minutes away.” Huguley Memorial Medical Center includes a 22-bed behavioral health unit that specializes in short-term stabilization within its full-service medical-surgical hospital. Huguley also offers extensive out-patient mental-health services. Dr. Stewart Keller, a neurologist and psychiatrist who has been medical director at Huguley Behavioral Health Center, is Mesa Springs’ medical director.