GREEN BAY – Strategic Willow Creek Behavioral Health will be the northeastern Wisconsin’s newest provider of mental health care in mid-January.
The Willow Creek Behavioral Health Hospital will be opened on Ontario Road by the Tennessee-based, non-profit behavioral healthcare provider. It is a 72-bed acute psychiatric hospital. There are 16 beds for seniors with dementia or other conditions, as well as 56 beds in the four wings that can accommodate general psychiatric, detoxification, substance abuse, and adolescent treatment.
It took nearly 18 months to construct and was opposed by organizations already providing mental health care in Green Bay.
Willow Creek Behavioral Health’s director of business development Dave Bertrand said that collaboration with existing providers of care, whether they be hospitals or county human service agencies, will be a priority. The company wants to increase awareness about the hospital and highlight its services. It also plans to work with other local organizations to create programs and services.
Ginn stated that “We have done this in 10 communities and Green Bay has been great for building relationships, whether it’s Brown County or Door County or staff from human services.” We won’t be able to do everything for everyone, but we will learn more about the community and its needs. We’ll fill the gaps where we can or create joint ventures when needed.
Erik Pritzl, Brown County Human Services director, said that Strategic Behavioral Health reached out to the region in order to better understand their needs. This will allow them to help increase access to Northeastern Wisconsin’s mental health care. He stated that there have been many instances in the last four months when psychiatric units at Bellin Health and Brown County’s Community Treatment Center were full. This has forced counties to transport patients to Winnebago Mental Health Institute, Oshkosh.
He said, “If you are in Door County and you want to find an acute psychiatric facility, we don’t need space. Bellin doesn’t. Then you will have to go to Oshkosh.” “Strategic Behavioral Health’s facility allows for more family contact and keeps people in the area. Their regional approach is logical. They will need to figure out how each county operates and what services they offer.
Strategic Willow Creek Behavioral Health announced that it will grant hospital privileges for existing psychiatric service providers in the region who meet its criteria. This will allow them to be more flexible. The company is also negotiating coverage agreements for health insurance providers.