Photos by Duane Tinkey

Central Iowans seeking inpatient or outpatient behavioral health care for themselves or a family member now have another option with the opening of Clive Behavioral Health.

The new 83,000-square-foot hospital, which officially opened this morning, is a joint partnership of MercyOne and Universal Health Services. UHS, a large publicly traded health services company that operates hospitals and stand-alone clinics nationwide, will oversee the day-to-day operations and management of the new behavioral health facility.

The new state-of-the-art facility, located at 1450 N.W. 114th St. in Clive across from the MercyOne Rehabilitation Hospital, will serve both children and adults in separate units of the hospital. The hospital’s one-story clinical and support services area includes a cafeteria and gymnasium for patients; a three-story unit houses inpatient wings and outpatient services.

MercyOne’s existing 34 psychiatric beds at MercyOne Des Moines Medical Center will continue to serve adults and seniors, and are now being operated as part of the MercyOne-UHS joint partnership.

As a newly launched hospital, Clive Behavioral Health must open with a limited number of inpatient behavioral health beds available — 10 — until a certification process has been completed by the Joint Commission, including a no-notice inspection of the facility. It’s anticipated that the process could take two to three months, potentially longer, before additional beds can be opened up.

Overall, every feature of the building is geared toward providing a safe and nurturing environment for patients, said Clive Behavioral Health’s chief executive, Mary Sparks Thompson.

“The design and construction is specially geared towards the needs of behavioral health patients,” Thompson said. “The colors, the furnishings are all specially designed for use in a behavioral health setting. And we try to create a warm environment as best we can with the colors and the art that we have installed so that it's just a place of rest and recovery.”

The gymnasium, outdoor courtyards for recreation and a large dining room are each elements designed to let patients safely leave the unit setting for a change in atmosphere, Thompson said.

The hospital is currently staffed with about 60 employees, including three psychiatrists who have been hired, along with a complement of direct care workers, therapists, nurses, social workers, dietary staff and housekeeping.

“We had a lot of interest in the facility from those direct care staff,” she said. “And I feel very optimistic now as we ramp up that we can continue that pace. I think what we're finding is applicants are seeking us out — they are excited about a unique stand-alone behavioral health facility.”

Outpatient services will follow once the inpatient units have gotten established, Thompson said. “Our first priority is to establish excellence in our inpatient services. So we will have a gradual ramping up as we develop all of our processes and systems and get our staff well-trained so that we're sure we've got the safest, best care,” she said. Then after that we'll be looking at adding our outpatient services over time.”

The building has a separate outpatient entrance, where children and adolescent outpatient services will be offered. Adult substance abuse behavioral health programming will be offered downtown at the MercyOne campus. Additional outpatient services under consideration for the future include electro convulsive therapy and possibly transcranial magnetic stimulation therapy and ketamine treatments.

“So we’ll be looking at all the different interventional psychiatry applications in the outpatient setting for the future,” Thompson said. “And so as we get our hospital built up and add capacity and start bringing on our outpatient services and we'll probably pause to take a look at the market, to see what services are most in demand in the community. And then we look to try to build services around that.”

Clive Behavioral Health has produced a virtual tour video of the new facility and more information can also be found on its website at clivebehavioral.com.