UPDATE: Mercy, Lifepoint Announce Plans for 2nd Hospital After Site for 1st is Confirmed

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – Mercy Health Youngstown and Lifepoint Behavioral Health, a business unit of Tennessee-based Lifepoint Health, announced plans Wednesday to build and operate a new inpatient behavioral health hospital in the Mahoning Valley.

The news release announcing the joint venture came just hours after a Liberty Township real estate broker confirmed the former Kmart property on Belmont Avenue as the site of Mercy Health Rehabilitation Hospital, a stand-alone 60-bed inpatient rehabilitation facility Mercy and Lifepoint Rehabilitation – another business unit of Lifepoint Health, then known as Kindred – said they would partner on in May 2022.

Mercy Health Behavioral Hospital will be a 75,000-square-foot, 72-bed hospital, providing inpatient services for adults struggling with depression, anxiety, suicidal ideation, substance use disorder and other mental health illnesses, the companies said in a news release Wednesday afternoon.

Lifepoint Behavioral Health will manage the day-to-day operations of the inpatient behavioral health hospital, which will be “designed to create a therapeutic environment for patients, featuring open, airy spaces with amenities that include spacious patient rooms, community areas, outside courtyards, and state-of-the-art clinical spaces to support the needs of patients and families,” according to the release.

“We are excited to grow our partnership with Lifepoint Health through its behavioral health division as we again expand access to high-quality acute specialty care for our patients throughout the Mahoning Valley,” said Dr. John Luellen, market president of Mercy Health Lorain and Youngstown. “This hospital will broaden Mercy Health’s ability to provide much-needed inpatient behavioral health care and help us further our mission of bringing good help to those in need.”

Construction for Mercy Health Rehabilitation Hospital is expected to begin this spring, with an expected opening in summer 2024.

Shortly after noon, Alan Friedkin of Burgan-Friedkin Commercial Group, who has represented the property for more than 20 years, announced the sale of the site of the former Kmart department store on Belmont Avenue for $1.15 million and confirmed it as the location for the rehabilitation hospital.

“That’s going to be a big plus for this market,” Friedkin said.

The hospital will treat patients who suffer from stroke, traumatic brain injury, spinal cord injury, complex neurological disorders, orthopedic conditions, multiple trauma, amputation and other injuries or disorders that have impacted a patient’s functional or cognitive skills, according to the Wednesday news release.

Construction of the newly announced behavioral health hospital is expected to begin this summer, with an expected opening in late 2024.

“We are pleased to expand our partnership with Mercy Health, a leading health care system, as we look ahead to this behavioral health facility in the Mahoning Valley,” Russ Bailey, president of Lifepoint Behavioral Health and Lifepoint Rehabilitation, said. “We know that in opening and operating this behavioral health hospital with Mercy Health, we have a partner equally committed to our mission of making communities healthier as we ensure that Youngstown-area residents have better access to high-quality, behavioral health care.”

Upon completion, Mercy Health Behavioral Hospital will be Lifepoint Behavioral Health’s sixth joint-venture, stand-alone behavioral health hospital nationally and first in the state of Ohio. 

“The most important thing was to bring that to Liberty Township to improve this area,” Friedkin said. “It’ll be something that lasts longer than any kind of a retail project.”

Copyright 2023 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.