April 06, 2021
North Charleston, SC (April 2, 2021) – Trident Medical Center has announced it’s scheduled to break ground in the Fall 2021 for South Carolina Lowcountry’s first freestanding behavioral hospital in more than 30 years. The 60-bed facility will provide both inpatient and outpatient care. It will also provide care for pediatric patients in addition to adults. Trident Health President and Chief Executive Officer Todd Gallati said, “We’re proud to continue our commitment to meeting the behavioral health needs of Lowcountry families.” He added, “To illustrate the need for more inpatient behavioral health beds nearly five percent of all hospital admissions in Berkeley, Charleston and Dorchester Counties are behavioral-health related.”
In 2014 Trident Medical Center opened a 17-bed unit in the hospital. “The unit was a turning point in our commitment to providing high quality behavioral health services, but the demand has always been greater than the region’s ability to meet them. Since the unit opened it’s rare we’ve had a bed available.”
The new $30.4 million freestanding behavioral hospital will provide a state-of-the-art environment for patients that meets their treatment and safety needs, explained Jeffrey Cluver, MD, medical director of the hospital’s behavioral health program Lowcountry Transitions. “Since the last freestanding behavioral health hospital was built in the tri-county area so much has changed in terms of how we treat patients and how we create environments in which they heal.” For example, the new facility will include large outdoor courtyards that create many therapeutic benefits for patients in individual and group settings.
In July 2018 the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) approved Trident Medical Center’s request for a Certificate of Need (CON). The new hospital will be built on a 17-acre site off Highway 78 near Trident Medical Center’s main campus on University Boulevard.
“If you look at the Lowcountry’s health profile,” said Gallati, “meeting our families’ behavioral health needs is as great as meeting their needs for access to high quality cardiac or stroke care. Until you have a family member who can benefit from behavioral health services most families don’t realize the importance of having greater access to care.”
Dr. Cluver says one of the most positive changes he’s seen in his 17-year career specializing in psychiatry is, “More people are open to having family discussions about the behavioral health of their loved ones. People are much more open now to seek help than they were when I started treating patients. Our focus is not just on treatment, but full recovery and being able to live a life without experiencing uncontrolled anxiety and depression.”
At this time architectural plans are being finalized.