UCHealth Unveils Plan to Boost Behavioral Health Care in Northern Colorado 

New space at Poudre Valley Hospital will enhance experience for patients, increase number of people who can be helped.

UCHealth recently announced a plan to bring behavioral health care services to the Poudre Valley Hospital (PVH) campus to enhance the experience and environment for patients and increase the number of people who can be served.

“We know more Coloradans are experiencing mental health struggles and substance use disorder than ever before, and most of those people are not getting the care they need,” said Elicia Bunch, vice president of behavioral health for UCHealth. “This project aims to improve lives of patients and their families by meeting their needs in a thoughtfully designed and comfortable environment, close to home.”

This behavioral health project is the second phase of the hospital’s master plan renovation project, which began construction last fall. As part of this phase, services at UCHealth Mountain Crest Behavioral Health Center in Fort Collins will be moved to the PVH campus.

The project will feature:

  • A dedicated inpatient behavioral health unit on the third floor of the hospital will have the capacity for 50 beds, which is 22 percent more than the 41 beds at the current facility, with more private rooms. The unit also will include access to an outdoor courtyard for patient use.
  • Separate space on the first floor of the Westbridge medical office building across Lemay Avenue from the hospital will be renovated to house UCHealth’s outpatient behavioral health visits and more small-group meeting areas.
  • A space on the lower level of the hospital will be renovated to offer electroconvulsive therapy, transcranial magnetic stimulation, and other new and innovative services.

The project is expected to be completed in spring 2024. Mountain Crest services will continue operation until the new space is ready, and hospital leaders anticipate adding staff positions to support the expected growth in behavioral health services in the new location. The future inpatient behavioral health area at PVH today is occupied in part by orthopedics, which will move from the third to the fifth floor. Orthopedics, neuro, and spine units will be refreshed to create a fifth-floor, state-of-the-art care environment with all these services in proximity to a new gym.

These improvements support the hospital’s master plan goals to improve the patient experience, provide for growth, create operational efficiencies and ensure the appearance of PVH matches the top-quality safety and service UCHealth patients receive every day.

It’s also part of UCHealth’s $150 million system-wide commitment to address behavioral health needs for patients across the state, which was announced in 2019. In addition to the PVH project, UCHealth is integrating behavioral health with primary care, providing tele-behavioral health consultation services, building a new inpatient behavioral health unit at UCHealth University of Colorado Hospital on the Anschutz Medical Campus, and partnering with Guild Education to fund select degree programs in social work, behavioral health and other areas to help address the shortage of health care workers.

“We have been looking at different ways we could improve our behavioral health services and expand our offerings to better meet the needs of the community for several years,” said Kevin Unger, president, and CEO of the hospital. “This is an incredible opportunity to create an environment that is comfortable for our patients, whether they are needing inpatient care or outpatient services, so they will get the care they need.”

UCHealth is an innovative, nonprofit health system that delivers the highest quality medical care with an excellent patient experience. UCHealth includes 25,000 employees, 12 acute-care full-service hospitals and hundreds of physicians across Colorado, southern Wyoming and western Nebraska. With University of Colorado Hospital on the CU Anschutz Medical Campus as its academic anchor and the only adult academic medical center in the region, UCHealth is dedicated to providing unmatched patient care in the Rocky Mountain West. Offering more than 150 clinic locations, UCHealth pushes the boundaries of medicine, providing advanced treatments and clinical trials and improving health through innovation.

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