Hospital Resumes Discussion on Six-County Adolescent Mental Health Ward
Kaweah Delta Hospital board members on Friday will discuss opening an inpatient adolescent mental health ward in cooperation with six counties in the Central Valley, the Fresno Bee reports.
A 16-bed wing in the Visalia hospital would be remodeled to accommodate 12 to 29 children from Fresno, Tulare, Kings, Madera, Mariposa and Merced counties for 30-day stays. Hospital officials said they have recruited two psychiatrists to staff the ward if the plan is approved.
The hospital had been in discussions with hospital and mental health directors of the six counties for more than two years, but the hospital withdrew from talks because of what it perceived as a lack of support for the proposal, according to Kaweah CEO Lindsay Mann. However, Mann said she has received three nonbinding letters of intent from the counties that support continued contract negotiations.
Once the hospital receives letters of intent from all the counties, the hospital will begin to negotiate individual county contracts. The hospital then will make a recommendation on the plan to the board. The board likely would vote on the proposal during the first quarter of 2006 (Avalos, Fresno Bee, 11/17).