In May of 2019, the Washington State Legislature identified the need for services for individuals with behavioral health needs, and that there is a shortage of behavioral health workers in Washington. The legislature recognized the University of Washington School of Medicine Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences as a nationally competitive program with the expertise to establish innovative clinical inpatient and outpatient care for individuals with behavioral health needs and train the next generation of behavioral health providers. To support this partnership, the legislature appropriated $33,250,000 for the predesign, siting and design costs for a behavioral health teaching hospital. To expedite this project, the legislature funded the full design funding, and intends to appropriate $191,250,000 in the 2021-23 biennium for construction.
The facility will be located on the UWMC Northwest campus on the master plan site 8, where the D-Wing is currently located. The facility will provide a minimum of fifty long-term civil commitment beds, fifty geriatric/voluntary psychiatric beds, and fifty licensed medical/surgery beds, with the capacity to treat patients with psychiatric diagnoses and/or substance use disorders. The project will also include a 24/7 telehealth consultation program within the facility. Additional scope includes: 1) procedural area for electroconvulsive therapy, and neuromodulation to support patients’ commitment to community-based living and health care; 2) capacity to conduct comprehensive workforce training and development for behavioral health and general health care providers. Program needs to support the building include kitchen facilities, increased utility service capacity, parking and visitor amenities.