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The MetroHealth System Announces Plans to Expand Inpatient Behavioral Health Beds at its Cleveland Heights Medical Center

Site Rendering -- Behavioral Health Expansion

Cleveland – The MetroHealth System announced plans to increase the number of inpatient behavioral health and addiction beds with an expansion of its Cleveland Heights Medical Center.

The planned $42 million, three-story addition to the medical center at Severance Circle will mean 110 new treatment beds and 96,000 square feet of new space for care. Upon completion in 2022, the facility will serve adolescents, adults and seniors suffering from drug and alcohol addiction and behavioral health issues. The facility will include a psychiatric urgent care center as part of the Emergency Department and high-acuity unit for patients requiring specialized care.

The new behavioral health facility is expected to serve 5,000 patients a year and create 225 jobs. The new payroll will be approximately $15 million, generating an additional $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 to provide $5 million from the county’s Opioid Mitigation Fund to support the project.

The behavioral health expansion will significantly reduce Cuyahoga County’s critical shortage of care and treatment capacity. In 2019, nearly half of the residents who required behavioral health inpatient care received it outside of Cuyahoga County. National guidelines reveal the county has 220 fewer beds than what is needed to adequately serve the needs of local patients.

“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,” said MetroHealth President and CEO Akram Boutros, MD, FACHE. “This new hospital will help decriminalize mental health and addiction issues and strengthen our social safety net.”

According to Cleveland Heights Mayor Jason Stein, “This is an opportunity to provide a much-needed service to our community while also improving our local economy. 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.”

“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. “MetroHealth’s expansion of their Cleveland Heights facility to treat mental illness and addiction is a perfect example of the highest and best use of the settlement dollars. This project fits perfectly with our overall efforts to increase services for residents in need of mental health and addiction services.”

“These issues cut across all demographics,” Brady said. “This behavioral health facility will address problems that have touched every extended family in Cuyahoga County.”

“MetroHealth’s commitment to significantly expand its existing facility in Cleveland Heights is good community development. The expanded facility will give parents, children, siblings and friends access to much-needed health care options and simultaneously create good jobs in our community,” Stephens said.

Mental illness affects an estimated 260,000 people in Cuyahoga County. More than 5,100 people have died of drug overdoses in the county since 2010.

The expansion will be in addition to the existing hospital of 12 beds and offers family medicine, colon screenings, an emergency department, mammography services, sports medicine, as well as a regional dispatch center.

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About The MetroHealth System

The MetroHealth System, Cuyahoga County’s public health system, is honoring its commitment to create a healthier community by building a new hospital on its main campus in Cleveland. The building and the 25 acres of green space around it are catalyzing the revitalization of MetroHealth’s West Side neighborhood.

MetroHealth broke ground on its new hospital in 2019. The project is being financed with nearly $1 billion the system borrowed on its own credit after dramatically improving its finances. In the past five years, MetroHealth’s operating revenue has increased by 40% and its number of employees by 21%. Today, its staff of 8,000 provides care at MetroHealth’s four hospitals, four emergency departments and more than 20 health centers and 40 additional sites throughout Cuyahoga County. In the past year, MetroHealth has served 300,000 patients at more than 1.4 million visits in its hospitals and health centers, 75% of whom are uninsured or covered by Medicare or Medicaid.

The health system is home to Cuyahoga County’s most experienced Level I Adult Trauma Center, verified since 1992, and Ohio’s only adult and pediatric trauma and burn center.

As an academic medical center, MetroHealth is committed to teaching and research. Each active staff physician holds a faculty appointment at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine. Its main campus hospital houses a Cleveland Metropolitan School District high school of science and health.

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