Bronson Battle Creek is making plans to significantly expand access to inpatient behavioral health services by 2022.
The organization is in the beginning stages of a plan to add more licensed beds, providers and staff, and to build a new inpatient behavioral health facility on a 10-acre plot within 40 acres of green space that Bronson Battle Creek owns at Glenn Cross Road and M-66.
Today, the Bronson Healthcare system is licensed for 39 adult psychiatric beds at Bronson Battle Creek Hospital and 10 geropsychiatric beds at Bronson LakeView Hospital in Paw Paw.
According to Bronson’s 2019 Community Health Needs Assessments in Calhoun, Kalamazoo and Van Buren counties, as well as state data, there is inadequate access to behavioral health services across the region due to a shortage of providers and inpatient beds.
Bronson Battle Creek began the Certificate of Need application process to expand its license for inpatient behavioral health beds from the 39 it currently has at the Fieldstone Center to 83.
“We are very enthusiastic about this project,” said Nelson Karre, Bronson Healthcare board chair. “It is a tremendous opportunity to be a part of the solution to a significant community health need in our region. It is also a way Bronson can support economic vitality by growing jobs in Battle Creek. Behavioral health staff will quadruple from the 50 we have today at the Fieldstone Center to approximately 200 once the new facility is fully operational.”
Once approved, Bronson Battle Creek would relocate all 83 behavioral health beds to a new facility that would be developed through a joint venture with a strategic partner that brings industry expertise in operating inpatient behavioral health programs.
The partner has been identified and will be announced when agreements have been finalized. The partner would invest in and build the new facility, which will have capacity for growth with approximately 100 beds.
Over the next six months, Bronson will be going through a number of steps to secure the necessary legal and regulatory approvals for its plan with intentions of being able to open the new facility in 2022.
“Our goal is to strengthen and enhance the behavioral health services that are available in Battle Creek while delivering modern, safe, high-quality care in a state-of-the-art facility with room for growth,” said Kirk Richardson, senior vice president and chief operating officer for Bronson Battle Creek. “The Fieldstone Center has served us well over the years, but it is not adaptable to renovation and expansion in a way that will meet evolving industry standards and the growing needs of our patients.”
The Fieldstone Center will remain in use for behavioral health services until the new facility opens in 2022. After that, the building will continue to be used by Bronson Battle Creek for other purposes.