OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) — A new 330-bed mental health hospital is coming to Oklahoma City.
The $147 million Donahue Behavioral Health Hospital project will consist of a 200,000 square foot facility on the Oklahoma State University, Oklahoma City campus. It will serve 275 adults and 55 adolescents daily, increasing their current operational capacity by 100 beds.
“We will have a place for people to come in, be evaluated and accessed and meet with someone,” Carrie Slatton-Hodges, Commissioner for the Oklahoma Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services, said. “We can provide you care and treatment right then and there. You don’t have to be a yes or no, do I need the hospital? You can be like I need help and we will provide you help.”
A new state of the art facility is offering an array of innovative services that Oklahoman’s can rely on during their most vulnerable moments. It will include care for adults and children, referrals to outpatient services and the most acute care services offered.
“Mental illness doesn’t discriminate,” Kayse Shrum, President of Oklahoma State University, said. “It can impact our family, our friends, our coworkers and in our lifetime we will experience it either personally or through someone around us.”
The project is being funded through ARPA funds and State Senator Julia Kirt says it was the perfect way to utilize the opportunity given to the state of Oklahoma.
“That opportunity when we got this big influx of federal dollars, we wanted to put it into something that would last another century to help people in our communities,” Kirt said.
The Donahue Behavioral Health Hospital will be located on the OSU-OKC campus near I-44 and West Reno Ave. It will also add around 250 jobs to the local economy.
“I am thrilled to see this facility coming to OKC,” Mayor David Holt said. “I know what you mean to all of this. You certainly have my commitment and I think I speak for a whole lot of people at city hall that we will continue to be dedicated to this movement.”
As part of the plan, Griffin Memorial Hospital in Norman will be shut down. Norman legislators on Tuesday responded with Sen. Mary Boren, Rep. Jacob Rosecrants, Rep. Annie Menz, and Rep. Jared Deck releasing the following statement Tuesday regarding the upcoming relocation:
“As a Norman delegation, we’re disappointed that the services and jobs provided by Griffin Memorial Hospital are being relocated. We’ve worked diligently for communication between ODMHSAS and their employees about the potential move, which finally occurred Monday, September 11, just hours prior to the press release issued by the department. The four of us received the initial news of Griffin’s potential relocation in December 2022 by reading the same article that Griffin employees read in the media. We were frustrated to learn this decision had been years in the making with little input from the people of Norman.” — Sen. Mary Boren, D-Norman
“As of last week, the last word we had from ODMHSAS was that a final decision would be made in October. Last night’s press release, which was not sent to legislators, also failed to mention the relocation of Children’s Recovery Center along with Griffin. The handling of this situation is another example of the executive branch’s lack of transparency and lack of communication with the folks at the receiving end of its decisions.”— Rep. Annie Menz, D-Norman
“We’ve spent months trying to work with ODMHSAS to provide a new urgent recovery center, much needed support to the Central Oklahoma Community Mental Health Center, and expanded services for patients. Our priority is maintaining and expanding mental health services within Norman and supporting affected state employees. We note that the announcement by ODMHSAS states dependence upon the sale of their owned properties to complete the building fund equation. The City of Norman, Cleveland County, and several non-profit organizations have an interest in those properties, but the century-old Griffin Hospital land has potential environmental issues that cannot be ignored.”— Rep. Jacob Rosecrants, D-Norman
“The Norman delegation will work with the Oklahoma Public Employees Association and other stakeholders to ensure ODMHSAS holds up to its word that every current Griffin employee has an opportunity to continue their career serving patients. It’s vital to remember that these decisions impact patients first and foremost. Any disruption of services can have a detrimental effect on those in need. We’ll continue fighting for patients, employees, and constituents to whom state government must be accountable.”— Rep. Jared Deck, D-Norman