Public town hall Tuesday to gather input on regional psychiatric hospital location

By The Active Age | December 11, 2023

The Kansas Department for Aging and Disability Services and Sedgwick County will host a public town hall meeting on Tuesday, Dec. 12, 2023, to answer questions regarding the South Central Regional Psychiatric Hospital project and gather input on potential sites from the community.

Sedgwick County issued a request for proposals for properties or existing buildings that could meet the needs of a 50-bed state psychiatric hospital. The site review committee, made up of Sedgwick County and KDADS staff, reviewed 11 properties and 3 building proposals submitted for consideration. After applying screening criteria that were provided with the request for proposals announcement, the committee narrowed the submitted proposals to four potential sites:

  • 2622 West Central Avenue and 723 North McLean Boulevard
  • A parcel on the corner of Macarthur and Meridian
  • A parcel at 53rd and Greenwich
  • A parcel at 85th and I-135

The town hall will be held from 5 to 7 p.m. at the Hughes Metroplex Complex, 5015 East 29th Street N, on the campus of Wichita State University. A live stream of the meeting will be available to the public on the KDADS YouTube channel.

After the town hall meeting, Sedgwick County and KDADS staff will work to include comments received from the public in a final recommendation to the Sedgwick County Board of Commissioners. The recommendation will be presented at the Commission’s meeting on December 20, 2023, with a request to begin negotiations with the selected property owner to close on the purchase by the end of January 2024.

A regional hospital in south central Kansas will address the shortage of in-patient mental health beds in the region and allow patients to remain closer to home and family while receiving care while also alleviating jail overcrowding by shortening the wait time for inmates pending evaluations or treatment. Kansas currently operates state psychiatric hospitals in Osawatomie and Larned.

Governor Kelly announced in May this year that KDADS had awarded $25 million to Sedgwick County to create a new regional hospital designed to address statewide shortages of health and behavioral health services and the state’s increasing demand for a well-trained health care workforce. In addition, $15 million from the State General Fund was earmarked by the State Finance Council in December 2022 for the planning and initial design work for a regional state psychiatric hospital.

KDADS entered into an agreement in March 2023 with Sedgwick County to provide funding for planning, design, and other services related to the construction of the hospital.