VHC Health, Arlington Announce Plans for Behavioral Wellness Facility

Published on January 24, 2023

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VHC Health and Arlington County today announced an agreement to expand much needed mental health and rehabilitation services. 

VHC Health will purchase and transform 5.8 acres at 601 S. Carlin Springs Rd. into an advanced rehabilitation and behavioral health wellness facility. Russell E. McWey, MD, Chair, VHC Health Board of Directors, stated, “This expansion of mental health services in the region has been a long-time priority for the Board and for VHC Health. The Board is pleased to continue serving our community and to champion this facility and advocate for those who are in need in and around Arlington County."

In addition to greater inpatient rehab services capacity, the new facility will house expanded mental health services – a 24-bed adult unit, a 24-bed adolescent unit, a 24-bed recovery & wellness unit, and five outpatient programs, including an Adult Intensive Outpatient Program, Adolescent Intensive Outpatient Program, Recovery & Wellness Intensive Outpatient Program, Adult Partial Hospitalization Program, and an Outpatient Behavioral Health Clinic. 

VHC Health will also provide a 14-bed geriatric behavioral health unit on the hospital’s main campus to continue to serve those patients in need of a higher level of medical care. Arlington County will retain the remaining land for future public uses compatible with the VHC Health environment. 

This joint project comes with support from key Arlington community members and stakeholder groups. 

“For nearly 80 years, VHC Health’s mission goes beyond serving its patients, but to become a deeply embedded health system within its community. This expansion serves this mission while also supporting our vision and values. VHC Health applauds the Governor and the General Assembly for their commitment to addressing Virginia’s behavioral health crisis and this joint venture will contribute to the Commonwealth’s objective of treating behavioral wellness,” said Chris Lane, CEO & President, VHC Health.

"We are grateful for our continued partnership with VHC Health in developing facilities to meet the healthcare needs of the Arlington community," said County Board Chair Christian Dorsey. "With the growing demand, mental health services continue to be a priority. We remain committed to expanding capacity and offering services and support for individuals experiencing behavioral health challenges and their families."

This project was also supported by Virginia Senator Barbara Favola (D-Arlington) and Delegate Patrick Hope (D-Arlington). “Improving access to community-based mental health care is a pressing need in every jurisdiction in the Commonwealth. I am proud to see my local hospital, VHC Health, responding to this need in such a patient-centered way. The VHC behavioral health facility will support patients on their journey to wellness,” said Senator Favola. Delegate Hope added, “We are proud to help facilitate new initiatives across the state to meet community members where they are for their healthcare needs.”

The inpatient rehabilitation services will care for those with brain and spinal cord injuries, stroke, neurological and other conditions. As of current, VHC Health has 20 existing rehabilitation beds for patients at the main campus. The new facility plans to increase total beds from 20 to 40, providing more care to those needing to improve function and quality of life. Behavioral Wellness will include outpatient services and three individualized units: adult behavioral health, adolescent behavioral health, and recovery and wellness.

VHC Health plans on breaking ground on its new facility in late 2023 or early 2024 and expects construction to be complete in late 2025. 

The agreement is a letter of intent between the County and VHC Health. Once a formal plan is submitted this Spring, it will go through the regular public review process and final decisions, including approval for plans and the sale of the property will come before the Arlington County Board for action.

About VHC Health

VHC Health provides exceptional medical services as our region’s community health system. Virginia Hospital Center was recently designated a 2021 Top Teaching Hospital by The Leapfrog Group. In 2022, the Hospital was selected for an 11th consecutive Healthgrades Outstanding Patient Experience Award™ and a 20th consecutive ‘A’ grade from The Leapfrog Group. Virginia Hospital Center is a 453-bed not-for-profit teaching facility and designated as a Magnet® hospital by the American Nurses Credentialing Center. VHC Health is a proud member of the Mayo Clinic Care Network – a national network of independent healthcare organizations.

About Arlington County

Arlington VA., is a world-class residential, business and tourist location that was originally part of the "10 mile square" parcel of land surveyed in 1791 to be the Nation's Capital. Slightly smaller than 26 square miles, it is the geographically smallest self-governing county in the United States, and one of only a handful with the prized Aaa/AAA/AAA bond rating. Arlington maintains a rich variety of stable neighborhoods and quality schools, and has received numerous awards for Smart Growth and transit-oriented development. Home to some of the most influential organizations in the world — including the Pentagon — Arlington stands out as 
one of America's preeminent places to live, visit and do business.

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