GREENVILLE, SC – Construction on Prisma Heath–Upstate’s replacement psychiatric hospital will begin this spring. The $34.7 million facility, recently approved by the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC), will replace the 50-year-old Marshall I. Pickens (MIP) Hospital.
The new hospital, which was widely endorsed by Upstate behavioral health providers, will be named Grove Point Hospital. The new hospital and outpatient clinic will be built on the Greenville Memorial Medical Campus at a former site of The Blood Connection. Site preparation will begin immediately, with the hospital opening as soon as winter 2020.
“We are very excited to be moving forward with building a modern restorative psychiatric hospital for our community,” said Dr. Karen Lommel, Prisma Health–Upstate’s behavioral health chief medical officer and chair of the department of psychiatry. “We look forward to creating a unique healing environment for our patients and their families,” said Lommel, who is board certified as both a psychiatrist and emergency medicine physician.
“We’re proud of the care we deliver in our existing facility, but it is a 50-year-old building and simply not designed for current challenges facing psychiatric hospitals,” she said. “But we would not be where we are today without the support of the Marshall Pickens family and The Duke Endowment, which together helped make the original facility possible. The Marshall Pickens family legacy will be highlighted at the new facility.”
Repairing the current hospital would cost roughly the same as building the new hospital and so was ruled out as possibility. The project does not include the existing 22-bed Children’s Residential Treatment facility, which is separately licensed under DHEC. A separate certificate of need will be submitted for that work.
The 79,000-square-foot building will have 65 licensed patient beds, which is the same number currently provided at MIP. But the design for Grove Point will feature spaces that better support its current range of services, including inpatient care, partial hospitalization and outpatient services. The four-story facility will include specialized areas for adolescents, adults and geriatric patients, as well as for patients in need of more intensive management. Outpatient services will be housed on the ground floor. Grove Point will continue to offer integrated nutrition, education and wellness components for adults who need more than outpatient treatment but do not need the level of care of an inpatient unit. Other innovative therapeutic interventions – such as yoga, music and nutrition services – will also be offered.
As part of the building’s orientation, patient rooms will face green space and wooded areas whenever possible. The facility will offer a combination of private and semi-private rooms for comfort and safety. Nursing stations will be strategically placed for maximum visualization of the patient rooms and activity spaces.
Grove Point will become a hub for educating the next generation of behavioral health professionals in the Upstate, said Lommel. As part of an ongoing initiative to grow the number of high-quality psychiatric providers in the Upstate, the new facility will include teaching space to support psychiatry residency programs and a new child psychiatry fellowship program. This facility will also provide nurse practitioners, as well as medical and nursing students, an improved clincal learning environment.
Access to behavioral and mental health services is rapidly becoming a major public health issue in the Upstate. Prisma Health–Upstate, formerly GHS, offers a number of clinical, academic and community programs focused on prevention, care and treatment of mental health disorders as an integral part of its comprehensive health care delivery system.
Under this second application which was approved through DHEC’s Certificate of Need (CON) process, Prisma Health–Upstate will continue to work with community partners in the prevention and treatment of mental health diseases but will not formally partner with another entity to construct and operate the new hospital.
Said Ken Dority, executive director of NAMI Greenville, “I am very excited that DHEC has approved the CON for the Grove Point project. The big winner in this process is our community, especially those families affected by mental health issues. This approval is a huge step forward to meet critical needs that currently exist and are continuing to grow in our community. NAMI Greenville has been proud to partner with GHS for years to help families affected by mental health conditions receive treatment for loved ones but also provide education and support for the family and friends. I look forward to continuing to grow and strengthen our partnership with Prisma Health and the families in this community.”