Valley General Hospital announces agreement with Fairfax Behavioral Health in Kirkland

Valley General and Fairfax have an agreement to establish a 34-bed psychiatric hospital in Kent. - Contributed Art
Valley General and Fairfax have an agreement to establish a 34-bed psychiatric hospital in Kent.
— image credit: Contributed Art

Valley General Hospital, an affiliate of EvergreenHealth in Kirkland, has signed a letter of intent with Kirkland-based Fairfax Behavioral Health to establish a 34-bed psychiatric hospital located on the campus of Valley General Hospital in Monroe. Pending Certificate of Need approval from the State of Washington, Fairfax Behavioral Health will own and operate the psychiatric hospital, providing Snohomish County residents with improved access to high-quality behavioral health care.

The facility will be located in Valley General Hospital’s F Wing and will treat adult and geriatric patients on both a voluntary and involuntary basis.  The F Wing previously housed Valley General’s geriatric psychiatric inpatient unit, which closed in 2011.

“Our collaboration with Fairfax Behavioral Health helps us better meet the needs of our community and is one part of an overarching solution to address our state’s overburdened mental health system,” said Eric Jensen, CEO of Valley General. “We’re committed to providing access to complete care for residents seeking treatment to all forms of illness and this partnership helps us extend expert services to an additional group of patients.”

The psychiatric hospital will provide services delivered by a multidisciplinary group of qualified professional staff, including psychiatrists, nurse practitioners, registered nurses, mental health professionals, psychologists, pharmacists and registered recreational therapists.

“We look forward to working collaboratively with Valley General Hospital to meet an overwhelming need in Snohomish County,” said Ron Escarda, CEO of Fairfax Behavioral Health. “In this embedded setting, we can more effectively provide a level of clinical care for our patients that meet both medical and psychiatric care needs.”

Inpatient psychiatric hospitalization requires a highly specialized staff, and Fairfax brings a proven track record of effective psychiatric hospital management to the Monroe community. Fairfaxoffers an 83-year history of service to the Northwest region, and runs the largest private inpatient psychiatric hospital in Washington state at its Kirkland, Wash. area facility.

The collaboration with Fairfax is one of the many ways in which Valley General is improving access to a broader offering of services for Snohomish County residents. Through its affiliation with EvergreenHealth, Valley General provides access to the comprehensive resources, specialty care and network of physicians within the Kirkland-based health care system.

The agreement allows Fairfax to lease a portion of Valley General’s Monroe campus for up to 20 years. Both organizations will remain independent, and Fairfax will be the sole-operator of the psychiatric hospital for the duration of the lease.

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