Psychiatric hospital plans $11.2M facility, 250 jobs

A local for-profit psychiatric hospital will nearly quadrupling its number of beds with a new $11.2 million facility, which will also call for up to 250 jobs.

Peak View Behavioral Health has broken ground on a project that will add 100 acute-care psychiatric beds for the elderly, adults, youth and children. The hospital has been in the Springs for three years and now has 22 beds in its current location, at 2012 University Park Blvd, southwest of Academy Boulevard and Vickers Drive.

The new location will be across the street from St. Francis Hospital, which will make it easier to partner with Penrose-St. Francis Health Services.

“Studies say that a city the size of Colorado Springs should have 300 beds, at a minimum,” said Gary Miller, facilities manager for Peak View. “Instead, the city has about 100.”

Peak View currently only sees geriatric patients – those who might be suffering from a psychotic break or from the early stages of Alzheimer’s. The hospital typically sees patients for five to eight days, and stabilizes them to either go home or to a long-term care facility.

“Sometimes we give them medication, and that helps,” Miller said. “But sometimes, they need a long-term facility.”

The move to treat adults, children and adolescents means that the for-profit hospital will be hiring. Peak View has about 58 full and part-time employees. When the new facility opens next summer, they will add about 200 to 250 more people, Miller said.

“We’ll be looking for the gamut – groundskeepers, accounting, billing, doctors, therapists, nurses- the whole gamut” he said. “Currently, we have six doctors on staff, and we’ll be doubling that.”

Peak View was hampered in its current location, formerly the Odyssey Hospice. The new location will allow patients to go outside, within a locked-down facility.

“It also gives us access to medical care,” he said. “We focus on psychiatric issues, but if we have a patient who needs an MRI or CAT scan, then it’s literally across the parking lot at St. Francis.”

Peak View also has locations in North Carolina, he said. It is owned by Strategic Behavioral Health of Memphis.

“We are very pleased to be able to build and expand this facility here in Colorado Springs” said company president Jim Shaheen. ” Not only are we fulfilling an unmet need, but are providing 250 healthcare jobs for the region.  We have received great support from the state and local mental health and medical community.  Local families deserve to receive services closer to home and soon they will.  Studies have shown us that family involvement in treatment more than doubles our success rate with these types of services.”

The facility will provide individual and group counseling, family and recreational therapy, educational services, and vocational training.  The staff will consist of physicians, nurses, therapists, teachers, case managers, and direct care staff, dietary, along with administrative staff.