New Pediatric Behavioral Health Center of Excellence Announced

July 21, 2022

Pine Rest to Build $62 Million Pediatric Behavioral Health Center of Excellence, in collaboration with Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital

To meet a critical need and increase access for children and adolescents struggling with behavioral health issues, Pine Rest Christian Mental Health Services child & adolescent clinical leaders, in collaboration with Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital leaders, will build a Pediatric Behavioral Health Center of Excellence on Pine Rest’s 220-acre campus in southeast Grand Rapids.

The new Center of Excellence will expand the full continuum of pediatric behavioral health services, increasing access and helping to alleviate the urgent statewide need for lifesaving and healing child & adolescent mental health care.

“We want our kids to live purposeful and joy filled lives,” said Dr. Mark Eastburg, president and CEO of Pine Rest Christian Mental Health Services. “We want them to flourish, along with the families, schools and communities that support them. Mental health problems and the chronic shortage of services made worse by the pandemic have been robbing our kids of the joy we all want for them. The Pediatric Behavioral Health Center of Excellence will help our community and state become a place where none of our kids will have to wait weeks or months for world class mental health care.” 

With the expectation of leveraging $38 million awarded through the bipartisan supported 2023 state budget, Pine Rest will launch a campaign to raise the remaining $24 million needed to fund the $62 million project through a combination of philanthropy and other sources.

The Pediatric Behavioral Health Center of Excellence will develop new collaborative programming for statewide access, including:

  • A psychiatric inpatient bed expansion from 36 to 88 for the treatment of high acuity patients, developmentally disabled patients and pediatric co-occurring (mental illness/substance use) disorders.
  • Creation of a pediatric psychiatric urgent care center, an expansion of Pine Rest’s Psychiatric Urgent Care Center for adults.
  • A new intensive psychiatric residential treatment facility for autistic spectrum disorder and developmentally disabled children.
  • An eating disorders treatment facility.
  • Expanded outpatient services, including:
    • Telepsychiatry for providers, families and patients in rural areas.
    • New specialty clinics for anxiety/obsessive compulsive disorders, depression, autistic spectrum disorders and eating disorders.
    • Substance use disorder programming.
    • Largest evidence-based psychological assessment center in Michigan for attention-deficit hyperactivity disorders, autistic spectrum disorders, learning disabilities and neuropsychological testing.
  • Expansion of Pine Rest/Michigan State University College of Human Medicine Child and Adolescent Fellowship training program.
  • Expansion of professional development opportunities for Pine Rest staff, bringing experts to Michigan from around the country, and for those in our community pursuing pediatric specialties in psychiatric nursing, certified psychiatric technicians, psychology fellowships and others.

Since 2018, leaders at Pine Rest and Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital have been working together to identify gaps in mental healthcare and to better coordinate their continuum of services to kids in the community. The two health systems will partner to ensure that the needs of children and adolescents in West Michigan and statewide are met.

“We are proud of our collaboration with Pine Rest and Spectrum Health Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital, built on a foundation of shared values, trust and clinical excellence, inspiring all involved,” said Tina Freese Decker, president & CEO, BHSH System. “This new Pediatric Behavioral Health Center of Excellence (PBHC) brings together highly specialized, integrated programs with exceptional physicians and caregivers to help children receive the comprehensive treatment they need. This is our collective commitment, to help children and young adults receive holistic mental and physical health services, with a focus on compassion, understanding and healing.”

This project gets underway as nationwide behavioral health needs are at epidemic levels due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The 2019 State of Michigan Behavioral Access Report found that 38% of Michiganders who experienced a mental illness were not receiving care. In 2017, one in 10 residents of Kent County reported that their mental or emotional health was poor or failing, with mental health ranking as the fourth most prevalent health problem, and suicide as the second leading cause of death among people ages 10-24 according to data from the Centers for Disease Control.

FOR MEDIA: Access to Building Rendering and Additional Information
For access to a rendering of the Pediatric Behavioral Health Center of Excellence and additional information about the project, please visit our Dropbox folder at pinerest.org/pediatric or click on the list items below to download.

To request interviews or further background, visit our For The Media page.

Press Conference July 21, 2022

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