River Vista Behavioral Health Hospital: Construction Progresses amid Pandemic

Construction workers hold Coming Soon sign for River Vista Behavioral Health hospital

(Madera, Calif.) – As the need for behavioral healthcare continues to increase in the region, Universal Health Services (NYSE: UHS), in collaboration with partner Valley Children’s Healthcare, celebrated the traditional "beam topping" to mark an important milestone in the construction of this highly anticipated behavioral health facility. The new River Vista Behavioral Health hospital, located at 40886 Goodwin Way in Madera, is on track to open in early 2023. 

When fully opened, the new River Vista Behavioral Health will provide a full continuum of inpatient services, including units to serve children and adolescents. Specialty programs for adults with co-occurring behavioral health and substance use issues will be offered to meet the unique needs of this patient population. In addition, the facility will offer robust outpatient programs to address the most prevalent behavioral health concerns, including child, adolescent and family counseling; and treatment for depression, anxiety disorders and other common behavioral health issues.

Valley Children’s Healthcare and UHS are also working to deliver a new psychiatric residency program, as well as telepsychiatry services for children served by the Valley Children’s network of care. UHS subsidiary HealthLinkNow will initiate a telepsychiatry services pilot in October at one of Valley Children’s primary care practices in Fresno, before expanding to the other practices in the healthcare network and then to other pediatric practices in our service area.

“As our nation faces compounding crises, the need for high-quality mental healthcare is on the rise, as are suicide rates and calls for help,” said Mike Zauner, Group Director, Behavioral Health, UHS. “It is exciting to partner with Valley Children’s Healthcare to bring this new facility to this region. We recognize Valley Children’s shares our mission and vision to provide patients and their loved ones with compassionate behavioral healthcare, services and support. We look forward to reintroducing hope and healthy therapeutic living to patients and their families.”

Located along the bluffs overlooking the San Joaquin River, the new River Vista Behavioral Health will feature:

  • 128 beds in a new state-of-the-art building spanning 81,600 square feet, including 24 beds dedicated specifically for children ages 5-17;
  • therapeutic environments that incorporate calming color tones, wall décor and natural light throughout the building design;
  • an indoor gymnasium and safe outdoor wellness courtyards for recreation; and
  • programming to serve adolescents, adults and older adults; and intensive day programs and outpatient care.

“I think this is one of the most important things that we have achieved at Valley Children’s in the last decade,” said Todd Suntrapak, President and CEO, Valley Children’s Healthcare. “It is loud and clear from our community – and all the communities we serve from Bakersfield to Sacramento – that there is simply not enough access for kids who have behavioral or mental health challenges to get the kind of care they need. River Vista Behavioral Health – and our partnership with UHS – will directly benefit kids and families to receive behavioral healthcare services closer to home. Today, our families often have to travel three and four hours for this kind of care. Soon, they will have access to that care right here in the Valley.  The addition of 24 inpatient beds specifically for kids will be the first dedicated inpatient unit for children in Central California.”

UHS contracted with local construction firm, Turner Construction Co., which broke ground on the site in 2020. At the project’s peak, more than 150 local construction workers will be on-site.

UHS will begin recruitment efforts approximately six months before the hospital opening. When operational, the hospital will employ 250-300 individuals including physicians, nurses, clinicians, mental health technicians and support staff.

The new behavioral health hospital will be owned and operated by UHS as an independent hospital open to all members of the community. To learn more, visit https://rivervistabh.com/

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