Behavioral Health Hospital plans October opening

MetroHealth's Bev Lozar with a prime view of the new MetroHealth Cleveland Heights Behavioral Health Hospital.

On Oct. 8, the MetroHealth Cleveland Heights Behavioral Health Hospital will open its doors to adults and seniors who need inpatient care. The adolescent unit will open in June 2023.

The 112-bed hospital, on the campus of the MetroHealth Cleveland Heights Medical Center at 10 Severance Circle, is designed for short-term stays for people with mood disorders, addiction, and other behavioral health needs.

A job fair held at MetroHealth Cleveland Heights on May 20 attracted more than 50 people interested in job openings for a dozen different opportunities. Social worker, patient care nurse assistant, registered nurse, and mental health counselor positions are among those being filled.

So far, roughly 75% of the available nursing positions and all behavioral health specialist positions have been filled. They will be among the 155 new employees at the Cleveland Heights facility, which will eventually rise to 225 employees and provide an additional $340,000 in income tax revenue to Cleveland Heights.

“There is a great deal of interest from nurses in the community in coming to a new facility,” said Bev Lozar, executive director of behavioral hospital operations. “We’ve attracted a lot of talented and qualified people, which is great because we can’t do this without them.”

Lozar joined MetroHealth in April 2021, and has been overseeing hospital construction and working to develop the operational plans for the hospital.

The added behavioral health presence will be apparent even before the new hospital's opening. MetroHealth’s psychiatry residency program will be based there, beginning in early July.

Later in July, MetroHealth’s partial-hospitalization program—the highest level of outpatient behavioral health care—will begin providing intensive services to adult patients five days a week.

Construction on a walkway connecting the new building to the health center began in May and will be completed in August.

The emergency department is being renovated. Space that was unused or underused is being turned into assessment rooms for behavioral health patients to facilitate the intake process.

The new hospital is designed with five separate units, for patients with different diagnoses: GeroPsych (for older adults), Dual Diagnosis,  Mood Disorder, Thought Disorder, and Adolescents. Inpatient and outpatient group therapy and other programs are being designed to address the specific needs of those different patient populations.

Kythryn Carr Harris, who joined MetroHealth in September 2021 as executive director for community behavioral health, manages MetroHealth's outpatient behavioral health services.

As director of clinical services, Robert Hammond oversees a team of clinicians developing programming and curriculum for inpatients.

Individuals who currently are brought to MetroHealth’s emergency departments, at the main Campus or the Brecksville or Parma locations, for assessment will be transferred to Cleveland Heights if they require inpatient care.

Individuals can be brought directly to the Cleveland Heights Emergency Department. Once there, they will undergo an assessment to make sure they’re medically stable. Following an evaluation, the individual will be admitted as an inpatient or referred to intensive outpatient behavioral health services at Cleveland Heights.

“With our expansion of beds, we anticipate that we will get referrals from hospitals outside of the MetroHealth system,” Lozar said. “We are establishing a process to assess those patients as well.”

[Editor's note: Due to an editing error, the original version of this article misstated the first name of Bev Lozar, MetroHealth's executive director of behavioral hospital operations.]

Angela Townsend

Angela Townsend is a senior writer in the department of marketing and communications at The MetroHealth System.

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Volume 15, Issue 7, Posted 5:41 AM, 06.30.2022