MetroHealth announces $42 million project to expand number of behavioral health beds in Cleveland Heights

MetroHealth announces $42 million project to expand number of behavioral health beds in Cleveland Heights

MetroHealth System will invest $42 million to expand its Cleveland Heights Medical Center and grow its number of inpatient behavioral health and addiction beds.

A three-story addition, expected to be completed in 2022, will add 110 new treatment beds to the medical center’s dozen beds, as well as 96,000 square feet of care space, according to a news release.

“We must create a more effective and comprehensive behavioral health and addiction medicine infrastructure that has lasting impact on the care of our neighbors, friends and family,” Dr. Akram Boutros, MetroHealth President and CEO, said in a provided statement.

The facility is expected to create 225 jobs, and a roughly $15 million payroll would generate $340,000 a year in payroll taxes for the city of Cleveland Heights.

Cuyahoga County Executive Armond Budish, council president Dan Brady and councilwoman Cheryl L. Stephens will introduce legislation Tuesday, Nov. 24, to support the project with $5 million from the county’s Opioid Mitigation Fund, according to the release.

More than 5,100 people have died of drug overdoses in Cuyahoga County since 2010, according to the release.

“When we took on the drug companies in federal court two years ago, we were determined to hold them accountable for the devastating effects of opioids in our community, and we committed to using the settlement for rebuilding lives, families and neighborhoods,” Budish said in a provided statement, adding that the expansion is a “perfect example of the highest and best use of the settlement dollars.”

The facility is expected to serve 5,000 patients a year —adolescents, adults and seniors suffering from drug and alcohol addiction and behavioral health issues. It will include a psychiatric urgent care center as part of the emergency department and high-acuity unit for patients requiring specialized care, according to the release, which also notes that mental illness affects an estimated 260,000 in Cuyahoga County.

The expansion will help reduce the critical shortage of care and treatment capacity in Cuyahoga County, which national guidelines indicate has 220 fewer beds than what is needed to adequately serve patient needs. Nearly half of residents requiring inpatient behavioral health care last year received it outside of Cuyahoga County, according to the release.

MetroHealth opened the 12-bed Cleveland Heights Medical Center in early 2018, alongside a similar small hospital in Parma, with 16 beds. The Cleveland Heights facility offers family medicine, colon screenings, an emergency department, mammography services, sports medicine and a regional dispatch center.

“This is an opportunity to provide a much-needed service to our community while also improving our local economy,” Cleveland Heights Mayor Jason Stein said in a provided statement. “I have discussed the project with City Council and they are supportive. We will continue to ask tough questions and make sure the city’s interests are protected and met.”

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