Hospital moves into Hadley

By KALEY CONNER

kconner@dailynews.net

Beginning Monday, the state's juvenile psychiatric care program will open in Hays, moving from Larned State Hospital.

Nearly 100 local residents gathered Thursday afternoon at the Hadley Center, 205 E. Seventh, for the public grand opening of KVC Wheatland Psychiatric Hospital. Patient admissions will begin Monday.

"We're certainly just very happy to be here, in Hays and serving the population," said Ryan Speier, director of administration for WPH. "We're looking forward to serving the children and families of central and western Kansas."

In December, the state contracted with KVC for the juvenile portion of government-funded in-patient mental health services. The Larned facility will continue to provide adult psychiatric services. It was estimated this move would reduce state costs by $900,000 annually.

The Hays hospital will provide services to children between the ages of 6 and 18. Its coverage area includes 59 Kansas counties, extending from Salina west to the Colorado border.

About 40 staff members are employed at the hospital, which was granted job bounty financial assistance by the Hays City Commission. The city has agreed to provide a $1,000 bonus for each of 13 full-time positions, to be paid in 20 percent increments through five years.

The private, not-for-profit facility will provide in-patient mental health care to individuals in the state program, as well as private insurance patients. The dually licensed, 24-bed facility includes 12 state hospital beds and 12 private pay beds.

However, that number likely will fluctuate based on the hospital's census, Speier said, noting the average daily census in Larned has been eight patients.

"Whatever the need for the state hospital beds, we can adjust accordingly," he said.

Olathe-based KVC Behavioral HealthCare has a "no reject, no eject" policy, meaning services will not be denied based on a child's diagnosis or ability to pay, he said.

Staff will work with community mental health centers, including High Plains Mental Health Center, and local physicians for referral and treatment.

"We truly think that by working together, we can accomplish a lot for children and families in western Kansas," said KVC Chief Executive Officer Wayne Sims.

The facility, located on the Hadley Center's third wing, will be secure and have controlled access. A variety of safety features -- including angled walls to prevent blind spots in patient rooms and recessed appliances -- was included in a recent remodel.

Patient rooms also feature a laser system that will notify staff if a patient is out of bed during the night, Speier said.

For Speier, the grand opening also was a homecoming celebration. The Hays native has moved back to northwest Kansas after working at KVC's Kansas City, Kan., hospital.

Dr. James Van Doren, who will provide on-site psychiatric care, also is a Hays native. His father, Dave Van Doren, owns the Hadley Center, and he jumped at the opportunity to come home, he said.

"It was kind of serendipitous," Van Doren said.

Treatment will be provided for children suffering from a wide spectrum of mental illness, including bipolar disorder, schizophrenia and attention deficit disorders.

The new facility also features two on-site classrooms, a library and computer lab. WPH has contracted with Hays USD 489 to provide education services.

"Our primary mission here is to serve the needs of western Kansas," Van Doren said.