Miramont Breaks Ground on Mental Health Hospital

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By: 
Michelle Phillips
A ground breaking was held for Miramont Behavioral Health on Aug. 9. The mental heealth care facility is expected to be completed in late 2019 or early 2020. Pictured L-R: Madison Police Chief Mike Koval, Middleton Police Chief Chuck Foulke, State Rep. Di

MIDDLETON–Driving rain and claps of thunder couldn’t dampen the spirits of local government officials and representatives of Miramont Behavioral Health as they held a groundbreaking to kick off the construction of 60,000 square foot mental health care facility.

Mike Garone, director of development at Strategic Behavioral Health, Miramont parent company, thanked the City of Middleton for recognizing the need to address mental health concerns in the community at the Aug. 9 event. “It didn’t take us long to see the need for mental health services in Dane County,” he said. The 72-bed hospital offers inpatient care for children, adults and the elderly, including drug addiction services. 

Dane County Board of Supervisors Chair Sharon Corrigan spoke and echoed Garone’s sentiments of the need for care and added, “We need the community to work together to find the gaps in our system.

Patrick Cork, Wisconsin DHS Division Administrator took the podium and quipped that in Wisconsin, “We take the weather as it comes,” before giving some statistics to the audience.

“We know that at any given time in Wisconsin, about 20 percent of people have mental health concerns and 19 percent have substance abuse concerns.” He went on to say that there should be 40 beds for every 100,000 residents, and Dane County, which is over 500,000, only had 90 beds before the announcement that Miramont would build its facility.

Middleton Mayor Gurdip Brar pointed out the stigma surrounding mental illness and reflected on friends who had suffered from mental illness. “This facility will meet the needs not just of Middleton, not just of Madison, but the whole county,” Brar said, and added that he was proud of the leadership Middleton has displayed in building the hospital.

Middleton Police Chief Chuck Foulke said there some skeptical about the plan for bring Miramont to the city at first, “Many opposed leaders studied the resources carefully and moved forward,” he stated. “Simply put, we are not taking care of the citizens in our community in crisis.”

“I look forward to a long-standing relationship,” said Dane County Sherriff Dave Mahoney of Miramont. 

He reminded that law enforcement officials are often at the forefront of the problem and responsible for transport citizen. “All agencies are forced to transport people in extreme crisis due to mental illness,” Mahoney said.

Garone told the crowd that the facility would include a 10 bed children’s unit, adolescent and adult units with 18 beds each, a senior unit with 16 beds and a medical detox unit with 10 beds. “A lot of thought has gone into the planning. There are high ceilings, and wide hallways, even paint color can affect care,” he explained. 

The hospital will include a gym as well as a private entrance for patients in crisis. There are also centralized nursing stations that allow care givers a line of sight through the corridors. 

Construction of the building is slated to begin on August 28, and is expected to take 14-15 months, weather permitting. The facility will then seek licensure and hopes to open in late 2019 or early 2020. 

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