Behavioral Health Facilities Now Open

Two new behavioral health care facilities have opened near the University of Arizona Medical Center - South Campus (formerly called the UPH-Kino Hospital Campus) in Tucson, AZ. Construction began October 2009 and was completed in August 2011.

The facilities offer an integrated approach and a continuum of care for patients experiencing behavioral health crises involving mental illness and/or substance use.

The innovative, collaborative effort brings together the entire community including behavioral health care, physical health care, law enforcement, families, and consumers to deliver an integrated approach to behavioral health treatment.

The new facilities ease the pressure on Pima County's community resources such as emergency rooms and detention centers. They also provide a setting to train new physicians in an integrated health care environment.

The facilities were created through a unique partnership between public and private entities. Participating partners are:

  • Pima County
  • University Physicians Healthcare
  • Community Partnership of Southern Arizona
  • University of Arizona College of Medicine

The Behavioral Health Pavilion contains behavioral health inpatient beds, a new Emergency Department, Psychiatric Outpatient Clinics, a new Information Technology Data Center, and a Pima County Courtroom. Please note, our outpatient psychiatry clinic for South Campus is now located in this building.

New Behavioral Health Pavilion Entrance

New Emergency Department Entrance

The Crisis Response Center (CRC) provides psychiatric urgent care services to youth and adults. It provides a center for law enforcement and first responders to which they can transport individuals in need of psychiatric services and provide a much needed relief to emergency departments. We are providing staffing in the form of psychiatric nurse practitioners and clinical psychiatrists for the Crisis Response Center, which is operated by a private company called Crisis Response Network.

New Crisis Response Center Entrance

The three story Behavioral Health Pavilion and two story Crisis Response Center together comprise almost 204,000 square feet. The Behavioral Health Pavilion includes an expanded emergency room, a Pima County Superior Court courtroom for mental-health hearings, 48 acute-level psychiatric beds, an outpatient psychiatric clinic and two helipads. The Crisis Response Center includes an entrance for first-responders like police and paramedics through a secure sally port entrance, behavioral health crisis triage, assessment and stabilization areas for adults and children, a 15-unit adult area where patients can stay up to five days, and a call center for a 24-hour community mental-health crisis line.

History of the Project

The vision for a psychiatric facility was developed in response to the strain on Tucson's health care system from increasing numbers of individuals with mental health and substance abuse disorders.

Many patients in crisis are routinely brought to the area's hospital emergency rooms by law enforcement, community agencies, or family members due to a lack of facilities specifically for behavioral health crises. In addition, the mixing of behavioral health patients and patients with immediate medical problems in emergency departments disrupts care for both groups and further taxes the overloaded emergency health care system.

In 2004, Pima County voters approved a $12 million request for partial replacement of the existing psychiatric facilities at UPH Hospital using Pima County General Obligation Bonds.

However, seeing as much as a 20% increase in behavioral health patients each year, hospital planners recommended expanding the project to its current level. In 2006, two bond packages were approved totaling $54 million for the new facilities. The bonds were approved by more than 60% of voters.

The collaborative effort brings together the entire community including behavioral health care, physical health care, law enforcement, families, and consumers to deliver an integrated approach to behavioral health treatment.

There is a Community-wide Crisis Line serving Pima County available 24 hours a day, seven days a week to anyone experiencing a mental health crisis. Persons can call toll-free 1-800-796-6762 or local 520-622-6000, TTY/TDD 1-888-248-5998 or 520-284-3500. For emergency situations always call 911.

Thank you, Citizens of Pima County, for your support of these much needed services.