Spokane Valley-based American Behavioral Health Systems Inc. says it plans to open a $5 million treatment facility in Chehalis, Wash., on Sept 1.
The chemical dependency treatment company, which primarily serves state-paid low-income clients, has bought a former Sisters of Providence hospital there and has been converting it into what ultimately will be a 210-bed substance-abuse treatment facility, says CEO Craig Phillips. Chehalis is located in Western Washington about 30 miles south of Olympia.
American Behavioral Health expects to open the 66,000-square-foot facility with 120 beds at first. All of those beds will be for clients required by the courts to undergo treatment, and the company will operate them under a contract with the Washington state Department of Corrections. It plans to open another 90 beds later, but currently doesn't have a contract for those additional beds, Phillips says.
He says the company plans to hire about 70 employees for the new Chehalis facility. It currently employs 155 people at two facilities it owns in Spokane and Spokane Valley, he says. Those facilities have a combined 234 beds.
Baker Construction & Development Inc., of Spokane, is completing improvements to the former hospital building in Chehalis, including putting in a fire sprinkler system and installing air-conditioning throughout the building. Phillips says those systems are required for the facility to be approved by the state Department of Health.
American Behavioral Health plans to use most of three of the building's four floors for its operations, Phillips says. He says a dialysis center currently is leasing about 10,000 square feet of space on the third floor of the building. The fourth floor, which is smaller, proved too costly to upgrade and will be used as a storage area instead, he says.
Phillips says the former hospital building is ideal for a program of that type because it already is set up for inpatient care.
"For medical services, they get to the point where they don't meet code or aren't cost-effective, which makes these buildings available for our types of services," Phillips says. American Behavioral Health's Spokane Valley facility, located at 12715 E. Mission, occupies a former nursing home that the company remodeled, he says. Its other facility, located in Spokane at 44 E. Cozza Drive, has 30,000 square feet of space.
Phillips says that the company will be able to transfer some of its clients who are being treated at its facilities here but who live on the west side of the state. He says the Chehalis facility will operate like a branch of the company's main treatment program, and corporate functions for American Behavioral Health still will be handled in Spokane.
Phillips says that the company next might expand to other states, and he says he's also developing a proposal for a program that he hopes could serve moderately mentally ill patients who suffer from chemical dependency. He says currently, such patients are being cared for on a short-term basis at medical or mental facilities at much greater cost than might be warranted by their needs, because most chemical dependency treatment facilities aren't well suited to care for them.
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