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OSF HealthCare Partnering with US HealthVest on new behavioral health hospital

Friday, October 07, 2022

OSF HealthCare and US HealthVest have recently announced their intent to collaborate on a joint venture aimed at constructing a state-of-the-art behavioral health facility in Peoria, Illinois. This facility, set to become the largest behavioral hospital south of Chicago, will cater specifically to adults.

The planned hospital, spanning 100 beds, will be strategically located on a tract of land owned by OSF HealthCare, in close proximity to other OSF buildings and services, on Illinois Route 91.

The primary objective of this joint venture is to address the pressing need for accessible mental health care in central Illinois. The behavioral health facility will offer a comprehensive range of services to individuals, regardless of their ability to pay, with a strong focus on treating acute symptoms of mental health conditions. Operating round-the-clock, the hospital will feature a crisis center providing free assessments, as well as evidence-based programs tailored to specific needs. Additionally, partial hospitalization and intensive outpatient programs will be made available.

Dr. Ralph Velazquez, Chief Medical Officer of OSF HealthCare, expressed enthusiasm about the partnership with US HealthVest, stating that the region is in dire need of such a facility. He acknowledged the challenge of access to mental health care, and emphasized the potential impact of the hospital in addressing the gap and serving a significant number of individuals.

Statistics reveal that a considerable number of individuals seeking behavioral health services in the 13-county area surrounding the hospital currently have to travel outside the region due to a shortage of inpatient beds. Community Health Needs assessments, conducted every three years, have consistently identified a need for expanded behavioral health services. The 2022 assessment prioritized mental health concerns, including depression, anxiety, and suicide, as significant health needs affecting Peoria, Tazewell, and Woodford Counties.

Dr. Samuel Sears, psychiatrist and director of Behavioral Health Physician Services at OSF HealthCare, emphasized the importance of proximity and continuity of care for patients. By bringing a substantial number of beds to central Illinois, the hospital will allow individuals to receive treatment close to home, while involving their families in the caregiving process—a compassionate approach backed by evidence-based practices.

US HealthVest, renowned for its specialized behavioral health care services including inpatient, residential, and day hospital programs, operates hospitals and partnerships across major cities in the United States. With an existing portfolio of over 400 licensed beds in Illinois, predominantly in the Chicagoland area, US HealthVest has a proven track record of delivering quality care. OSF HealthCare and US HealthVest have previously collaborated to secure treatment and services for patients when capacity was limited.

Dr. Richard Kresch, CEO and Founder of US HealthVest, expressed pride in partnering with one of the state's largest and most innovative healthcare systems. The joint venture aims to establish a hospital that fosters hope, healing, and, most importantly, meets the growing demand for accessible behavioral health services.

OSF HealthCare and US HealthVest have initiated the process of obtaining necessary regulatory approvals and anticipate the hospital's opening in late 2024 or early 2025.

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