City leaders, health care workers and residents got a glimpse of the Conway Behavioral Health Hospital that will open next year during a Conway Area Chamber of Commerce "Off the Clock" event on Tuesday.
The facility at 2255 Sturgis Road in Conway will start accepting men and women over 18 into its Inpatient Adult Acute Program in January.
It will gradually expand to four units — the adult acute program as well as the addition of an Inpatient Adult Dual Diagnosis Program, Inpatient Adolescent Acute Program and Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) Program — that will each have 10 rooms with a 20-bed capacity for a total of 80 beds.
A new feature the facility will utilize is "swing beds," in the middle of the corridor to increase the bed space on certain units and decrease on others should the need arise.
"The swing beds will be great in case we need to increase one unit," Director of Business Development Susan Green told the Log Cabin Democrat during a facility tour. "[For example], we’ll be starting with 20 adolescent beds but have the ability to go to 28 if needed."
Other highlights of the facility include a computer lab where patients, especially adult patients, can tend to items such as paying bills, etc. and stay somewhat connected while receiving treatment; a gymnasium where patients can decompress and get some exercise; separate quiet and noisy activity rooms where patients who are watching TV or playing Jenga won’t disturb patients trying to read or complete a puzzle ; a comfort room with rocking gliders for patients who are overstimulated or need to relax; two courtyards for each unit; and motion detectors in the patient rooms so if a patient gets up during the night, the staff are alerted.
"That’s one of the best things about building a new facility — you get to include all of the things you’ve wished you had at other facilities," Green said.
Another example of this, she said, is the two options for checking in — through an ambulance bay, which most behavioral hospitals don’t offer or through a private sub-waiting area for patients and their families to wait during the admissions process.
"It’s going to be invaluable," Green said of the sub-waiting area.
The hospital will expand its services in phases with completion scheduled in early 2019. In a news release, CEO Doris Singleton said she was "immensely proud" of the Conway facility.
"Throughout the process of developing our programming and constructing this wonderful facility, we have received nothing but the best in terms of support and encouragement from our partners in both the public and private sector," Singleton said. "We are thrilled to be on the cusp of opening our doors and beginning to serve this great community."