Chicago Construction News staff writr
OSF HealthCare and US HealthVest have signed a letter of intent to plan and construct a behavioral health facility in Peoria – the largest behavioral hospital focused on adults south of Chicago.
OSF and US HealthVest are seeking necessary regulatory approvals and anticipate opening in late 2024 or early 2025.
The 100-bed hospital will be built on land that is owned by OSF HealthCare on Illinois Route 91 and will expand access to mental health care for residents throughout central Illinois. A full continuum of behavioral health services will be offered, regardless of ability to pay, including comprehensive treatment for those who struggle with acute symptoms of mental health.
“We are excited to announce our partnership with US HealthVest to bring an inpatient behavioral hospital to the region because the need is great,” said Dr. Ralph Velazquez, chief medical officer, OSF HealthCare. “Access is a challenge, and between people who don’t seek the care they need and those who seek care in other settings, we know the true gap and the number of potential persons served is even higher.”
A 2022 assessment prioritized mental health – especially depression, anxiety, and suicide – as one of three significant health needs impacting Peoria, Tazewell and Woodford counties.
“Being able to bring in a large number of beds to central Illinois keeps people close to home and allows us to provide that continuity of care within the community that people reside and allows for family members to be much more involved in the care of their loved ones which we know is evidence based and compassionate,” explained Samuel Sears, M.D., psychiatrist, director of Behavioral Health Physician Services, OSF HealthCare.
With hospitals and partnerships in Chicago, Atlanta, Seattle, Boston and Indianapolis, US HealthVest’s portfolio provides specialized behavioral health care including inpatient, residential and day hospital services. US HealthVest is currently licensed for over 400 beds in Illinois, all of which are in the Chicagoland area. OSF and US HealthVest have an established relationship as OSF has secured treatment and services for patients when capacity has been an issue.