The project involves the construction of a new 14,000 square foot comprehensive behavioral health emergency room with walk-in assessment, outpatient crisis, 20 bed stabilization unit and a 24 hour observation area. In addition, the project includes the renovation of an existing 14,600 square foot facility constructed in 1955 to provide treatment, education and case management services to clients with severe and persistent mental health issues. The project will service both children and adults with mental health crisis issues that result in involuntary placement into care or “Baker Acted” care. There is documented need for expansion of beds with the Bartow crisis stabilization unit (CSU) operating at emergency status 65% of the time and 45% of the time over licensed capacity. Emergency status is defined as operating at too high a capacity to accept transfers from any other facilities such as law enforcement or local hospital Baker Acted clients. Currently Baker Acted clients are taken to Lakeland Regional Medical Center’s Emergency Room (ER) – one of the busiest ER’s in the state of FL based on the sponsor’s submission.
The project will aid in reducing the number of patients that are transferred to other providers in Orlando and Tampa or in areas beyond and decompress the ER by adding treatment capacity of roughly 2,000 patients per year. Further, it is anticipated that readmission rates will decrease by creating this capacity locally as higher readmission rates are typically experienced when services are provided away from family and other support grouping. By decompressing the ER and triaging these cases to the behavioral health center the ER will be able to lower costs and expand services to other persons in need of immediate care.
The project will be located in an area with one primary distress factor, unemployment in excess of 1.6 times the national rate and two secondary distress factors, including being located in a medically underserved area.
- 28.9% Poverty
- 1.61 times the national unemployment rate
- Federally designated Medically Underserved Area
- 49 initial created jobs, 75 total created
- 375 maintained jobs
- 30 construction jobs
- 75 quality jobs created
- 17 created and 86 maintained jobs accessible to LIPs
- 25 indirect jobs
- 8 indirect construction jobs
- Services to 918 LIP/LICs
The Project is in an alignment with the “Polk Vision” Plan (“the “Plan’) that was initially commenced in 2004 with a vision that before 2030, Polk County would have an economic development environment that attracts qualify businesses with higher paying jobs, improves productivity and retains the community’s youth. The Plan was created through community meetings, focus groups and interaction with community leaders, government officials; over 700 residents provided identified issues in the community that were incorporated into the Plan. The Plan identifies five areas to focus on (Education Foundation, Economic Development Foundation, Government Foundation, Quality of Life Foundation and Private Sector Leadership Foundation). Under the Quality of Life Foundation, healthcare is identified as the primary factor and one of the three goals is : “to expand availability of high quality, affordable healthcare… with a large number of choices in medical specialties, including comprehensive and long term mental health care.” The project is in clear alignment with this goal.
In addition, it should be noted that all three County Boards of Commissioners are listed as community partners for Peace River Center for their service area, along with the State’s Department of Children and Families and the Polk County School Board. In addition The Community Foundation of Greater Lakeland is also noted as a community partner. Peace River is also a recipient of Federal LIP funding as noted in the May 2015 article from the Lakeland Press regarding the potential loss of Federal LIP funding and the potential impact it would have both to Peace River and its integrated behavioral health programming and to Lakeland Regional Health Center. The project also received support from Central Florida Regional Planning Council which developed an economic impact projection for them in support of their NMTC allocation application.