Proposed psychiatric care facility OK’d

SMOKEY POINT — US HealthVest’s Certificate of Need application, proposing to establish a 75-bed psychiatric hospital in north Marysville, was approved by the state Department of Health on Jan. 14, clearing the way for an $18.8 million, 60,000-square-foot facility that could open at 15621 Smokey Point Blvd. with an estimated 200 employees as early as 2016.

“The approval of a Certificate of Need always comes with certain conditions that the applicants are required to obey, and the state Department of Health’s conditions on this one were benign and simple,” US HealthVest President and CEO Richard Kresch said. “These are things like, we have to build the facility where we said we would, and we have to provide charity care at or above the average amount provided by other hospitals in the Puget Sound region. We’ve accepted all of these conditions.”

From here, Kresch expects the next month to be spent on assessments by architects and engineers, followed by a six-month design phase.

“That’s relatively fast-paced for this type of work, but we’ve done this before, so it should move along pretty quickly,” Kresch said. “The parcel has already been zoned. The preliminary environmental studies have already been conducted. The land use questions have already been answered. The city of Marysville has been friendly, helpful and cooperative.”

Within the next six to eight months, Kresch expects ground to be broken at the site, and while he’s hesitant to be overly specific on the timeline of events that will follow, he estimated that construction could be complete within 18 months, which would allow the facility to open its doors as soon as two years from now.

“The need is here,” Kresch said. “North Snohomish County is an underserved area in an already underserved state for its numbers of psychiatric beds. The people who can’t access that treatment here are having to travel outside the area to get it.”

Greater Marysville Tulalip Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Caldie Rogers, who’d written a letter to the state Department of Health in support of US HealthVest’s proposed facility, likewise spoke in support of the DOH’s approval of this Certificate of Need application.

“Our coalition of city and business leaders worked together to present strategic testimonies through the hearing process for the Certificate of Need, which played a big part in demonstrating that we are a united community, vested in supporting and welcoming this new and clearly needed enterprise,” Rogers said.

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