OKC mental health hospital location selected to expand critical access to care in Oklahoma
Tuesday, September 12, 2023
Media Contact: Mack Burke | Associate Director of Media Relations | 405-744-5540 | email@example.com
The Oklahoma Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services (ODMHSAS) announced today it will construct a new 330-bed mental health hospital on the Oklahoma State University Oklahoma City (OSU-OKC) campus. The hospital will be named Donahue Behavioral Health.
This new state-of-the-art facility will offer an array of innovative services that Oklahomans rely on during their most vulnerable moments. Care will include care for adults and children, referrals to outpatient services and the most acute care services offered.
The $147 million, 200,000-plus-square-foot facility will serve 275 adults and 55 adolescents daily. This increases ODMHSAS operational capacity by 100 beds, and includes an Urgent Recovery Center (URC). URCs increase immediate accessibility to services for Oklahomans experiencing a mental health crisis.
The Donahue campus, which will be located on the OSU-OKC campus near I-44 and West Reno Ave. in Oklahoma City, is expected to add approximately 250 jobs to the local economy.
The five-year economic impact of the new hospital to the OKC metro is estimated at $447.5 million, both in job creation, taxes, emergency room costs and homelessness.
“This hospital is an investment, dedicated to the people of Oklahoma,” said ODMHSAS Commissioner Carrie Slatton-Hodges. “With the support from Gov. Kevin Stitt, the Oklahoma state Legislature and OSU, ODMHSAS will deliver quality, efficient and effective behavioral health treatment services. Our staff is dedicated to serving the people of Oklahoma for another 100 years.”
The OSU-OKC location was selected based on ease of access, community support and the opportunity to draw upon broader workforce development partnerships and support resources.
“Oklahoma State University is committed to improving the mental health of all Oklahomans,” said OSU President Kayse Shrum. “The location of this new, modern facility will provide better access for Oklahomans and advance OSU’s One Health mission to serve the state and address our most pressing needs.”
The announcement of the new mental health hospital in Oklahoma City and the recent groundbreaking of a new mental health hospital near OSU Medical Center in downtown Tulsa highlight Oklahoma’s visionary progress in mental health treatment and care.
Coupled with the launch of the 988 Mental Health Lifeline, a three-digit lifeline that connects Oklahomans with trained behavioral health professionals, ODMHSAS continues to offer critical resources to thousands of Oklahomans each year.
ODMHSAS is focused on creating a system of care that reaches Oklahomans proactively and throughout their health care journey. The department will expand care by now offering another centralized location in Oklahoma City.
Donahue Behavioral Health creates the opportunity to explore collaborative health programming opportunities with the school.
“Medical workforce challenges, particularly in the psychiatric field, are a significant barrier to treatment access nationwide,” said Slatton-Hodges.
The Oklahoma Legislature provided $87 million in American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) money to fund hospital construction. In addition, Oklahoma County Commissioners recently approved $1.5 million in ARPA funds for relocation, and the City of Oklahoma City and several metro philanthropic organizations have pledged their support. ODMHSAS will also contribute to the cost of the hospital through the sale of property in Norman, Oklahoma.
To receive ARPA funding, the Oklahoma Legislature stipulated the new facility must be located within 30 miles of the Capitol. That opportunity allowed ODMHSAS to explore sites outside of Norman, and soon after drew interest from nearby civic leaders.
Once complete, Donahue Behavioral Health will replace Griffin Memorial Hospital. Griffin Memorial Hospital is located in Norman and has long been the state’s primary mental health hospital, providing care for more than a century. The aging complex has outlived its functionality, Slatton-Hodges noted.
“We have been located in Norman for over a century, and made our decision based on what is best for the people we serve and the state as a whole,” said Slatton-Hodges. “Donahue Behavioral Health is expected to open in 2026 and will house the Griffin psychiatric residency program. The long-standing program was established decades ago to help address a shortage of psychiatrists statewide.”
Slatton-Hodges said construction of the new hospitals has been lauded by behavioral health advocates as a sign that behavioral health is finally being given the attention it deserves and a step toward overcoming stigma that for too long has hampered treatment advancements and access to care.
Donahue Behavioral Health honors Dr. Hayden Donahue, who served as Oklahoma’s first director of mental health in 1953. He is credited for revolutionizing mental illness treatment in Oklahoma.
The hospital was also made possible in part thanks to the Oklahoma City Community Foundation, Kirkpatrick Family Fund and Arnall Family Foundation.