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UHS news rev

September 19, 2019 - (Madera, California) – Valley Children’s Healthcare launched a new partnership yesterday to address one of the most significant healthcare needs in the region. Valley Children’s President and CEO Todd Suntrapak announced that Universal Health Services (UHS) will construct and operate a new behavioral health facility on Valley Children’s Madera campus.

This 81,600 square foot, 128-bed behavioral health hospital will provide accessible, high-quality and advanced behavioral health services in the Central Valley. One 24-bed unit will be dedicated specifically to pediatric psychiatric care, treatment, services and educational needs, assisting Valley Children’s in addressing the needs of patients presenting to the Emergency Department. Additional units at the new behavioral health hospital will serve adults and seniors. The new hospital will employ more than 250 people, including clinicians, nurses, mental health technicians, support staff and administration.

“There is hardly a day that goes by that I don’t get a question from a parent, a healthcare provider or a community member in search of behavioral healthcare for their kids - and, in particular, behavioral healthcare that is right here in the Valley,” explains Todd Suntrapak, President and CEO, Valley Children’s Healthcare. “The behavioral healthcare needs for our children and families are significant and this new facility will provide our Valley with new resources closer to home.”

The new facility will feature a full continuum of inpatient services, including units designed specifically for children and adolescents, ages 5 to 17. Specialty programs for adults with co-occurring behavioral health and substance use issues will be offered to meet the unique needs of this patient population. In addition, the facility will offer robust outpatient programs to address the most prevalent behavioral health concerns, including child, adolescent and family counseling; and treatment for depression, anxiety disorders and other common behavioral health issues.

California continues to face a shortage for inpatient behavioral health beds for adults - and the shortage of inpatient services for children ages 5 to 17 is even more pronounced.

  • The Treatment Advocacy Center, a national nonprofit organization dedicated to eliminating barriers to the timely and effective treatment of severe mental illness, recommends one inpatient bed per every 2,000 residents.
  • There are an estimated 39,536,653 people living in California.1 With only 6,777 inpatient beds for those in need of behavioral health services, there is one bed for every 5,834 people and one inpatient bed per every 8,905 child or adolescent.2
  • In our 12-country service area, this shortage continues to be emphasized. There are 929,436 children between the ages of 6 to 17 residing in the Central Valley and only 49 current beds. That means there is one bed for every 18,968 child or adolescent.1,2

Valley Children’s is partnering with UHS, one of the nation’s most respected hospital management companies, to construct and operate the new facility because of UHS’ behavioral health expertise and the commitment to patient and family-centered care, strong clinical outcomes and proven track record of partnering with academic, regional networks and community-based entities. UHS will be the sole owner and operator of the new behavioral health facility.

“We are proud to celebrate this new partnership with Valley Children’s. Our mutual goal is to always provide patients and their loved ones with high-quality, compassionate services and support,” said Bob Deney, Senior Vice President, Universal Health Services, Behavioral Health Division. “UHS is proud to collaborate with highly respected, leading health care organizations in key markets across the country, to provide services that save lives, restore hope and improve communities.”

“I continue to be inspired and humbled when hospitals lead and respond to the needs of the people they serve,” added Carmela Coyle, President and CEO, California Hospital Association. “That’s what Valley Children’s Healthcare and Universal Health Services are doing by investing in a new behavioral health facility in the Central Valley. Their commitment to children with mental health and substance use disorders exemplifies all that hospitals can and should be doing to help people live better lives. The residents of California’s Central Valley will be stronger in mind and body thanks to your leadership, and I’m personally grateful for affirming to everyone what hospitals are truly all about.”

Construction of the new hospital is expected to begin next year, with an estimated opening of 2022. Valley Children’s and UHS will immediately begin work on a psychiatry residency program, as well as telepsychology services for children served by the Valley Children’s network of care.

For additional information, please visit valleychildrens.org/uhs.


1. Population data from US Census Bureau and KidsData.org.

2. Data from OSHPD 2017 reports
Source: Valley Children's Healthcare