VHC Health Behavioral Wellness Facility


601 S Carlin Springs Road, Arlington, VA   View Map

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Arlington County and VHC Health have announced a signed letter of intent to allow VHC Health to repurchase the land for this project.

vhc conceptual site plan feb 2024.jpg

Arlington County is excited about having VHC Health invest in expanded rehabilitation and behavioral health services in Arlington County. Healthcare has changed since 2019, with growing demand at the local, regional and national levels for behavioral healthcare services.

This is a tremendous opportunity for our community to further address the shortage of local mental health beds and treatment options for both adolescents and adults. This is the first time in our community when we will have the opportunity to offer in-patient and outpatient adolescent behavioral health services. The facility will also include 40 in-patient rehabilitation beds for individuals with brain injury, spinal cord injury, stroke, neurological and other conditions.

Arlington County Government and VHC Health have long shared a commitment to the community we both serve to ensure the availability of needed healthcare services and this new facility will bring vital services and resources close to home. VHC Health provides the highest quality care to all residents and is a strong healthcare resource to Arlington County and the surrounding communities. VHC Health is the logical organization to provide these essential services at the Carlin Springs site. 

Flyer: VHC Health Proposed Rehabilitation and Behavioral Wellness Facility

Public Process

Timeline  Milestone / Meeting  Materials 
 May 18, 2023  Community Visit to 601 Carlin Springs  
Feb. 27, 2023 Community Information Session: VHC Rehabilitation and Behavioral Health Facility
Feb. 16, 2023  Commissioner Briefing on VHC Rehabilitation and Behavioral Wellness

Frequently Asked Questions

What types of services will VHC Health provide at the new site?

VHC Health will transform the 5.8 acres into an advanced rehabilitation and behavioral health wellness facility with a total of 112 beds. 

In addition to greater inpatient rehabilitation services with 40 beds for people with spinal cord and brain injury, stroke, neurological and other conditions, the new facility will include behavioral health in-patient beds – a 24-bed adult unit, a 24-bed adolescent unit, a 24-bed substance abuse recovery & wellness unit. 

This new site also offers expanded opportunities for out-patient programs that will strengthen the amount of behavioral health services available for patients from Arlington and the region. 

  • VHC Health will offer 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. 
  • These additional services will significantly improve access to health care in the community.

How many of the VHC Health beds will allow for private rooms?

At least 56 of the 86 (65.1%) behavioral health beds shall be private.

What is the timeline for construction and opening of these new services?

VHC Health plans on breaking ground on its new facility in early 2025 and expects construction to be complete in 2026. We anticipate that VHC Health will be prepared to submit their site plan applications (4.1) early in 2024.

What will happen to the existing behavioral beds at the main VHC Health campus?

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.

To ensure continuity of behavioral health services and patient care, VHC Health commits that all 35 existing behavioral health beds (18 adult behavioral health beds and 17 adult substance abuse recovery and wellness beds) at the main campus shall remain operational until all new behavioral health beds are operational and accepting patients at the new VHC Health facility.

How many total psychiatric beds will be available in Arlington County? And where will they be located?

The VHC Health proposal at Carlin Springs increases the number of beds from 71 at the main campus, which is inclusive of the 16 approved, but not yet built, behavioral health beds, to 126 beds between the main campus and the VHC Health new Carlin Springs facility– a 24-bed adult unit, a 24-bed adolescent unit, a 24-bed substance abuse recovery & wellness unit. This is the first time in our community when we will have the opportunity to offer in-patient and out-patient adolescent behavioral health services. 

In addition, the VHC Health proposal includes 40 inpatient rehabilitation beds for people with spinal cord and brain injury, stroke, neurological and other conditions. 

What part of the Carlin Springs property will VHC Health be purchasing? And is the County maintaining any portion of the property?

VHC will purchase approximately 5.8 acres of property at 601 Carlin Springs with the remaining 5.8 acres owned by the County.

  • The County will retain half of the property -purchased in 2019, including retaining the scenic easement and the area inclusive of the Resource Protection Area (RPA).
  • The County portion of the space will be reserved for future public uses compatible with the VHC environment. 
  • The County anticipates that concepts for future uses will be presented within the next three to six months.

How much is VHC Health paying the County for the land?

The County has agreed to sell at fair market value. This price will be determined through appraisals as part of the purchase and sale agreement.

What opportunities will the community have to review and comment on the plans at Carlin Springs site?

This project, like others, will include a Site Plan Review Process (SPRC), led by the Planning Commission. The SPRC process provides a forum for community review of a development project in which property owners, staff, other commissions, and community groups collaboratively examine and comment on a project filed under Arlington’s special exception site plan regulation. VHC will also be reaching out to nearby neighbors and 
interested stakeholders in advance of the SPRC process. 

What are the next steps?

Any final purchase and sale agreement is contingent upon VHC Health having receipt of all necessary special exception site plan and use permit approvals, for the construction of a new behavioral health care and rehabilitation hospital on the Property. 

  • We anticipate that VHC Health will be prepared to submit their site plan applications (4.1) early in 2024. 
  • The County will take all steps necessary to expeditiously process the applications for the site plan and use permit, and proceed through public review. 
  • The Planning Commission and the County Board will also hold public hearings to consider those applications, and in the best possible scenario, within 120 days of the County’s acceptance of the completed applications. 
  • Given the importance of expanded behavioral health services in our community, the County is committed to expediting the engineering plan, stormwater, and building permit reviews and the issuance of building permits and appropriate LDAs, following the approval of any requisite land use applications the County. 

VHC Health will also have to submit a Certificate of Public Need (COPN) application to the Virginia Department of Health requesting approval for the additional inpatient beds. That request would be made in the next available batch cycle which is January 2024. It’s important to note that the State review process could take anywhere from 7-9 months. 

What is currently happening at Carlin Springs Site (as of August 2023)?

Demolition of the property at 601 S. Carlin Springs began in January 2023 and was completed in May. Site grading is ongoing and will be followed by soil stabilization and native grass and meadow planting in September and October. 

View the 601 S. Carlin Springs Landscaping Maintenance Plan for native grass and meadow planting in fall 2023. The new meadow at the 601 S. Carlin Springs site is intended to be in place until construction/redevelopment of the site begins (may be prior to 2027):

September/October 2023: A mix of native grass with grain rye (approximately 60% native / 40% rye) will be planted across the site.

Year 1 (2024): Mowing three times per year in mid-June, mid-July, and mid-August.

Year 2 (2025): Mowing to a height of 12 inches two times per year in mid-June and mid-August.

Year 3 (2026): Mowing to a height of two inches between March 15 and April 1.

Years 4+ (2027 and beyond): Mowing to a height of six to ten inches between late February and early March.

For more information about the demolition project: South Carlin Springs Property – Official Website of Arlington County Virginia Government (arlingtonva.us)