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The Sarasota County Public Hospital Board on Monday approved a $65 million plan to replace its aging behavioral health hospital with a new, state-of-the-art pavilion that centralizes and enhances care to people affected by mental and behavioral health challenges. Slated to begin design this year, preliminary plans call for the new 82-bed, 95,000-square-foot Behavioral Health Pavilion to be built on the northeast corner of the hospital’s main campus, at the corner of Osprey Avenue and Hawthorne Street.

As proposed, the new pavilion will include four dedicated inpatient units: an 18-bed geriatric unit, 20-bed acute care unit, 22-bed adult unit and a 22-bed child and adolescent unit. The new facility will offer all private rooms, as well as sensory rooms, designed to promote healing and meet the unique needs of different patient populations. A separate outpatient area in the pavilion will centralize the hospital’s existing partial hospitalization program, intensive outpatient program, electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) and outpatient counseling services into one location. The pavilion also will have clinical and support space for pharmacy, laboratory, food and nutrition, public safety, housekeeping and administrative services. 

The new facility will be a major step forward in developing a comprehensive approach to addressing the behavioral health needs of individuals and their families in our community, according to Terry Cassidy, executive director for SMH Behavioral Health Services. Construction is slated to be complete by October 2023.