Leavenworth mental health facility taking place of closed Cushing Hospital

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LEAVENWORTH, Kan. — A vacant hospital will soon be transformed into a mental health facility in Leavenworth County. 

Last year, St. Luke’s Health System closed Cushing Hospital, citing financial constraints. Now, a new psychiatric hospital is coming with a major investment, while filling a critical community need.

The doors to Cushing Hospital in Leavenworth remain closed right now. Local leaders feared it was coming after previous owner St. Luke’s Health System first removed psychiatric services, then the labor and delivery unit.

“It was a really difficult thing for the community,” Leavenworth County Commissioner Vicky Kaaz said.

St. Luke’s ultimately donated the property to Leavenworth County. 

This week, county commissioners were thrilled to sign off on a new 5-year lease agreement with Tennessee-based CenterPointe Behavioral Health. It will bring 20 in-patient psychiatric beds, along with outpatient treatment programs.

“When they approached the county, we were very amiable to bringing that service back to the community if we could all come to an agreement as to how that could happen and here we are,” Kaaz said.

CenterPointe already runs two psychiatric care facilities in the metro, under the name Signature Psychiatric, at Liberty and North Kansas City hospitals and saw a growing need for mental health and substance use treatment in Kansas. St. John’s Hospital in Leavenworth has psychiatric beds for seniors, but there’s nothing for the 18 to 65 population.

“Our investment is pretty significant. We see that there’s a huge need in the marketplace. We also see it’s not just Leavenworth and Leavenworth County. We’ll be a real resource for the region as well,” said Jim Shaheen, CenterPointe Behavioral Health System Outpatient Development vice president.

CenterPointe will transform Cushing, spending at least $5 million to renovate two floors. At least 30 full-time jobs will be coming to the area with room for growth.

“It’ll be a warm and therapeutic environment but still be a safe environment for folks who are really struggling with disorders and the unit will be secure,” Shaheen said.

The county hopes the new partnership is the beginning of helping transform the space to fill other gaps in healthcare in the community.

CenterPointe plans to begin renovations soon and is aiming to open the new psychiatric hospital in January.

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