WakeMed seeks permission to build new Garner hospital, new 150-bed mental health hospital :: WRAL.com

WakeMed is seeking approval from the state of North Carolina to build a 150-bed mental health hospital and a 45-bed acute care hospital.

On Monday, WakeMed leaders announced they would file two certificates of need (CON) with the state.

“These projects reflect our community-wide commitment to provide area individuals and families with greater access to the right health care in the right health care settings,” said WakeMed Health and Hospitals President and CEO Donald Gintzig in a news release.

WakeMed said that in addition to the community’s unprecedented growth, area hospital emergency departments and mental health facilities continue to see dramatic increases in the number of adults and children suffering mental health and substance use crises. Since the start of the pandemic, WakeMed said its emergency departments have seen a 25% increase in these diagnoses, which is an increase of 40,000 visits a year.

“We know our region will continue to grow. It’s a great place to live, work and raise a family,” Gintzig said. “We have to plan today to meet the needs of an even larger community in the future. These two new facilities will help us do that.”

WakeMed previously received 50 mental health beds from the state, and, with Monday’s CON filing, it is requesting 100 more. According to WakeMed, the location for the mental health hospital is likely in eastern Wake County. WakeMed leaders are hoping to start construction in fall 2024 and it would open in 2027, pending state approval.

The proposed Garner Hospital would be located at White Oak Road and Timber Drive East. Pending state approval, WakeMed would begin its groundbreaking by fall 2024 and it would open in 2027.

“As the pandemic took its toll on our community’s families, we quickly realized that a 50-bed mental health hospital is not enough,” Gintzig said. “Mental health touches every life and there is a collective understanding that we must take action to both eliminate the stigma surrounding mental health and support our growing population.

“While the new facility will be a WakeMed entity, it will be part of our entire community’s concerted effort to provide more abundant, specialized inpatient and outpatient mental health and substance use care and services to the residents of our region.”

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