Commerce invests $7.3 million to sustain five community-based behavioral health facilities

Closure prevention funding will ensure long-term viability of 236 behavioral health beds, maintain outpatient treatment services in King, Kitsap and Yakima counties

OLYMPIA, Wash. – Vital behavioral health facilities and services in three counties will receive a needed capital funding infusion from the Washington State Department of Commerce to ensure their availability over the next 10 years. The department today announced $7.3 million in closure prevention grants, responding to urgent capital needs at five facilities in King, Kitsap and Yakima counties. The funds will maintain 236 beds and improve an outpatient facility that anticipates serving 1,000 individuals this year.

“Many of our community behavioral health providers are operating on a razor-thin margin, and without this critical funding, they would likely be closing their doors in the near future,” said Commerce Director Mike Fong.  “Through intentional design of this program in collaboration with our state agency and provider partners, this closure prevention funding will ensure the long-term preservation of existing facilities that are urgently needed in communities throughout the state.”

Commerce awarded $7,275,000 to three behavioral health providers for structural repairs, upgraded fire protection systems, and other renovations to sustain the health, safety, and security of patients and staff at their facilities over the long term. Applicants had to demonstrate that without state investment, the facility would likely close within two years, and as a condition of receiving Closure Prevention funds, the grantees must maintain the facility for its intended use for at least 10 years.

King County

  • $1,170,731 to Key Recovery and Life Skills Center in Seattle. The project will replace its damaged roof, install insulation to ensure the fire suppression system pipes do not freeze when winter temperatures drop, and upgrade the HVAC system to prevent evacuation of the facility when summer temperatures rise.

“The Board of Directors of Key Recovery and I are thrilled to receive Behavioral Health Facilities Closure Prevention grant funding through the Department of Commerce” said Joe Barrett, CEO of the Key Recovery and Life Skills Center. “These funds will ensure that our 107-bed treatment facility continues to operate for years to come with a much-needed HVAC system upgrade and roof repairs that will keep our patients and staff safe and able to focus on providing lifesaving substance use disorder treatment to Medicaid patients from across the state.”

Kitsap County

  • $86,418 to the Kitsap Recovery Center in Port Orchard to repair and replace its fire dampers. These physical repairs are required for the facility to pass its next and future fire safety inspections which is a condition of its license to operate as a Behavioral Health Agency in Washington state.

“Kitsap Recovery Center has been a part of the Salish Region since 1971,” said Keith Winfield, Clinical Manager of the Kitsap Recovery Center. “Receiving the Commerce grant means we can continue to offer low-barrier, impactful service to members of the community. Without Kitsap Recovery Center, over 700 patients a year would have to find services elsewhere. We are the only detox in our region, and not having that service would be devastating to our community members. We cannot thank Commerce enough for their support.”

  • $1,381,598 to Agape Unlimited outpatient facility in Bremerton. This project will replace a crumbling retaining wall and parking lot, which can no longer be patched or resurfaced due to erosion and must be removed, graded, and re-asphalted. These replacements mitigate safety risks for patients, visitors, and staff within the property line and fortify the continuity of services at the outpatient facility.

“Agape Unlimited is very grateful and excited to have been awarded the Closure Prevention funding which will repair our retaining wall and parking lot,” said Sara Marez-Fields, Executive Director of Agape Unlimited. “This funding will allow Agape Unlimited many more years of serving our most vulnerable community members. Agape serves individuals who are suffering from substance use disorders, mental health disorders, and individuals and families experiencing homelessness. Without this funding our community would have suffered a great hardship by losing a critical behavioral health facility that continues to build programs to support our community.”

Yakima County

  • $2,235,182 to Triumph Treatment Services in Yakima for the James Oldham Treatment Center (JOTC). This funding helps close the gap between the total capital costs of the JOTC renovation project and the $1,400,728 in federal Community Project Funding secured by Congressman Dan Newhouse and $500,000 in Yakima County ARPA (American Rescue Plan Act) funds.

“Closure Prevention funding for Triumph Treatment Services’ James Oldham Treatment Center (JOTC) means that more than 800 men each year in Washington state will continue to receive the life-saving, life-sustaining substance use disorder and mental health treatment services they desperately need and deserve,” said Leslie Whiteside, Senior Grant Writer for Triumph Treatment Services. “As one of the largest men-only facilities of its kind in the state, and the only one in the entire Central Washington region, the aging JOTC facility was built in 1950 and is in urgent need of $4.4 million in repairs, upgrades, and renovation. Triumph Treatment Services is truly grateful for this award as we work alongside individuals and families on their journey through treatment, recovery, and family reunification.”

  • $2,401,067 to Astria Toppenish Hospital in Toppenish for structural repairs and upgrades to the psychiatric unit located in the oldest part of the hospital. This project also includes capital upgrades needed to comply with regulatory requirements for patient and staff safety.

“Astria Toppenish Hospital (ATH) is pleased to receive notice of a grant award from Washington State Department of Commerce to remodel its existing 15-bed civil commitment psychiatric unit,” said Cathy Bambrick. “ATH provides 24/7/365 intensive interdisciplinary treatment through a patient-centered, trauma-sensitive recovery care model. We serve adults 18+ with acute psychiatric disorders, many with substance addiction and co-morbid medical conditions. The current unit opened in 2019 within an existing nursing unit. Funding for renovations has been extremely limited to critical needs only. The grant funds will be used for structural and interior renovations including, but not limited to, a new roof, plumbing, and HVAC system. The Washington State Department of Commerce funding will protect this vital state resource for years to come.”

These investments support Gov. Jay Inslee’s five-year plan to modernize and transform Washington’s mental health system, with the goal of ending civil patient placements at the state’s large hospitals by 2023 in favor of smaller community-based facilities. Today’s announcement marks the first Closure Prevention grants awarded through the Behavioral Health Facilities program managed by Commerce.

Since its creation, the Behavioral Health Facilities program has awarded $679 million to finance more than 2,700 treatment beds and 50 outpatient facilities statewide. The program supports community providers by helping them to construct, renovate or acquire property to expand capacity for behavioral health support facilities. An advisory group of providers and the state Department of Health, Department of Social and Health Services, and the Health Care Authority review and support funding decisions.

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