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DRB approves mental health hospital application


Facility would focus on serving adolescent patients

SUBMITTED PHOTO - Universal Health Services' proposed behavioral health facility would be 62,000 square feet in size and stand on the corner of Day Road and Boones Ferry Road. A rendering presented Jan. 25 shows the facility viewed looking east along Day Road.At its Jan. 25 meeting, Wilsonville’s Development Review Board Panel B unanimously approved an application from Universal Health Services that would allow for establishment of a behavioral healthcare hospital on the corner of Boones Ferry Road and Day Road.

“We looked at the demographics around the area,” said Rob Minor, vice president of development-behavioral health for Universal Health Services, when asked by a member of the DRB why Wilsonville was selected as the proposed location of the hospital. “We have a facility in Beaverton, and we thought that building a facility south of Portland would be able to serve the greater Portland area, but also the people south of Beaverton, and then people going south down Salem.

“We do get a lot of our patients from emergency rooms and regional hospitals, and we felt like this was a great location because of its access off the interstate and the availability of land.”

The application approved by the DRB included requests for annexation of the 8.72 acres of land where the 62,000 square foot hospital would be built, as well as a comprehensive plan map amendment, zone map amendments, a tree removal plan, signs and other elements. The annexation, comprehensive and zone map amendments are the three elements that will need approval from the City Council to move forward.

Those parts of the application will appear before the City Council next month for consideration, after which time the applicant could begin the permitting process that would allow for construction to start sometime this year.SUBMITTED PHOTO - Universal Health Services' proposed behavioral health facility would have a circular driveway accessible from Day Road. A rendering presented Jan. 25 shows the facility viewed looking east along Day Road.

The 100-bed hospital would offer inpatient crisis stabilization services and mental health programs, inpatient child and adolescent services, inpatient geriatric services, autism programs, women’s programs, substance abuse treatment and other programs.

Ron Escarda, northwest group director with UHS, said that the facility will be geared especially toward providing services to youth facing behavioral health issues.

“We certainly believe that the community is a little bit under-bedded right now, in particular the provision of in-patient services for children and adolescents,” Escarda said. “Which is one of the primary reasons we’re actually building the facility — to be able to serve that need.”

That contrasts with UHS’s Beaverton facility, Escarda said, which doesn’t offer any beds for adolescent patients.

Minor also stressed that the facility would be “community oriented,” and said that it would be involved in outreach efforts.

“We will have functions at our facility to invite the community in,” Minor said. “We typically get very involved with the school systems around the area, to provide experts, doctors, nurses and others to go into the school systems and talk about suicide prevention, bullying, other issues about mental health.”

Panel members praised the application’s thoroughness and organization.

“I don’t think I’ve ever seen a presentation this detailed, this heavy, but it was well worth the time spent,” said panel Chair Aaron Woods. Although it could not be required as a condition of approving the application, Woods asked that UHS include two electric vehicle chargers at its facility. UHS representatives in the audience appeared amenable to the request.

Contact Jake Bartman at 503-636-1281 ext. 113 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..