Relocate proposed Inpatient Psychiatric Hospital away from schools, parks & homes

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Who: IRE Development (land owner), Acadia Healthcare (a for-profit company based out of Tennessee), Scripps, the Chula Vista Planning Commission, and the Chula Vista City Council are all involved in bringing this Inpatient Psychiatric Hospital into a residential neighborhood.

What: The land on Showroom Place is currently in escrow to be sold to Acadia Healthcare to build a 120-bed inpatient/outpatient Psychiatric Hospital that includes a "locked unit able to accept involuntary holds for patients deemed to be a danger to themselves and others." - San Diego Union-Tribune

When: According to an article in the San Diego Union-Tribune, the hospital is slated to open in 2023.

Where: The cul-de-sac at the end of Showroom Place in the Eastlake Design District.  This is on the same street as Kid Ventures, Floaties Swim School, Pride Martial Arts, Ninja Factory, Crunch Fitness, and other family-friendly businesses.

Why: Scripps Mercy Hospital in Hillcrest is demolishing their Psychiatric Hospital as part of their effort to build a new hospital.  They plan to transport their patients to the Showroom Place site.

Community Concerns: Upon learning of the 120 bed psychiatric hospital proposed for 350 Showroom Place in the Eastlake community of Chula Vista numerous concerns have been identified by members of the community.

It is clear that San Diego County has a need for mental health services.  A site for these services could be placed in the South Bay but careful consideration and site / location planning is required to ensure optimal outcomes for the community, patients and the service center.

1. Poor Partner: Acadia, a for-profit corporation headquartered in Tennessee, will be an 80% operator of this facility. In May 2019 they paid a $17 million fine for Medicaid fraud and over the last several years have been riddled with lawsuits and reports of elder abuse, child abuse, child death, patient elopement (escape), facility closures, and negligence. The reported negligence and abuse within Acadia facilities expose patients, employees and community members to danger. View source files:

2. Distance From Integrated Healthcare Resources: This facility is being built nestled within a residential neighborhood, 20 miles away from Scripps Mercy Hospital in Hillcrest, far removed from much of the population it currently serves, with limited access to public transportation and only quickly accessible via toll road, which equates to limited access for patients. Luke Bergmann, director of behavioral health for San Diego County, stated "he is concerned when a stand-alone facility is built many miles away from a hospital, that such a facility be connected to the “integrated” system of care that includes outpatient resources." [San Diego Union-Tribune, February 2019]

3. Release Concerns and Elopement (Escape) Risk: It is unclear what will happen to patients when they are released and refuse help from a social worker. Some patients may lack housing, access to additional medical care, or a family/support system to assist them. In addition, “elopement,” or leaving without authorization, has been "...identified as a significant issue by the psychiatric nursing community." [Article: Psychiatric Elopement: Using Evidence to Examine Causative Factors and Preventative Measures, 2013]

4. Proximity to Children: Increase in traffic, loitering, and homelessness create safety concerns for the many schools, parks, and day care centers that are in the neighborhoods immediately adjacent. According to "On discharge, 27% of the homeless patients were discharged to no fixed abode status..." [Article: Homelessness and the Length of Stay in Psychiatric Wards, August 2017] According to a traffic study submitted to the city, the hospital will increase traffic by 2,400 ADT (cars per day) traveling on Showroom Pl via Fenton Road, Lane Avenue and Otay Lakes Rd. [Preliminary Environmental Review Permit]

5. Limited Police & Resources: Adding a new facility of this scale could cause an increase in call volume resulting in an increase in response time from ambulances, fire, and police.“...Eastern [police response territories in Chula Vista] are very large, have increasing public safety demands and take longer times to traverse.”  Chula Vista currently does not have enough police and Eastlake has the fewest patrols assigned to handle issues arising from the facility or from those released. CVPD has the lowest sworn officer-to-population ratio in the county at .87 sworn officers per 1,000 residents. [Source: Public Safety Staffing Report City of Chula Vista, 2017]

6. Decrease in Local Home Values and Loss of Local Businesses: Data reports indicate that homes near similar sites had a decrease in value. Locally-owned businesses that are an integral part of our community may be impacted by safety concerns and loss of customers. Those near a hospital generally got 3% less than an average home in the same county would get. [Article: The Neighborhood Features That Drag Down Your Home Value—Ranked]

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