According to American Hospital Directory data, there is a shortfall of more than 300 inpatient behavioral health beds in Iowa and Nebraska.
To address this need, Methodist Jennie Edmundson Hospital and Acadia Healthcare are announcing plans to build a state-of-the-art behavioral health hospital in Council Bluffs, Iowa. The 96-bed hospital will include 24 inpatient beds dedicated to serving the mental health needs of children and adolescents, as well as provide outpatient services. This new facility will be a center of excellence, addressing the growing unmet need for accessible, high-quality behavioral health services in the region.
Methodist Jennie Edmundson Hospital is an affiliate of Omaha-based Methodist Health System.
Pending regulatory approval, the hospital is anticipated to open in 2026. It will be operated through a joint venture partnership between Jennie Edmundson and Acadia, the largest standalone provider of behavioral health care services in the U.S. Together, the organizations will invest more than $55 million in expanding behavioral health resources in the region.
“Patients of all ages in the region will have access to the specialized behavioral health care they need in a carefully designed environment,” said David Burd, president and chief executive officer of Methodist Jennie Edmundson Hospital. “Methodist partnered with Acadia Healthcare because they are preeminent experts in behavioral health. This hospital will be a tremendous resource, and this partnership will help strengthen our level of expertise and implement proven best practices while enhancing the quality and number of behavioral health services available to patients throughout the area.”
Jennie Edmundson and Acadia are in the process of securing land for the hospital and will announce the location at a later date. Construction will begin once all regulatory approvals are obtained.
“Methodist shares our commitment to expanding access to high-quality behavioral health services and to transforming the way mental health patients are seen and cared for,” said Chris Hunter, chief executive officer of Acadia Healthcare. “The new hospital will increase lifesaving services for individuals and families in the region. We look forward to partnering with local communities to bring hope and healing to those in need.”
This purposefully designed behavioral health hospital is anticipated to include large treatment rooms for group therapy sessions, centralized nursing stations to provide open lines of sight to all common areas, high ceilings and large windows to capitalize on natural light, serene outdoor spaces and high-tech features. Ultimately, this will allow patients from western Iowa and eastern Nebraska access to the services they need in an environment that promotes peace and well-being.
“As a clinician, seeing the significant impact this investment will have on patients is exciting,” said Pat Ahrens, MD, vice president of medical affairs and chief medical officer of Methodist Jennie Edmundson Hospital. “This partnership allows us to better achieve our goal of a holistic approach to health care and continue leading public health efforts in the region. This hospital will provide a centralized regional referral center, creating a single point of care specific for all mental health and substance use disorders.”
To learn more about the partnership between Jennie Edmundson and Acadia Healthcare, visit Bluffsbehavioralhealth.com.
About Methodist Jennie Edmundson Hospital
Methodist Jennie Edmundson Hospital was established in 1886 and became a Methodist Health System affiliate in 1994. Today it is a 230-bed regional health care center serving approximately 250,000 residents in western Iowa. Jennie Edmundson boasts western Iowa’s only accredited cancer program and a 20-bed inpatient adult behavior health unit. The hospital offers a 24/7 Level III Emergency Department that treats over 20,000 patients per year. Jennie Edmundson also performs over 7,000 inpatient and outpatient surgeries per year while surpassing over 650 births yearly.
About Acadia Healthcare
Acadia is a leading provider of behavioral healthcare services across the United States. As of March 31, 2023, Acadia operated a network of 250 behavioral healthcare facilities with approximately 11,100 beds in 39 states and Puerto Rico. With approximately 23,000 employees serving more than 75,000 patients daily, Acadia is the largest stand-alone behavioral healthcare company in the U.S. Acadia provides behavioral healthcare services to its patients in a variety of settings, including inpatient psychiatric hospitals, specialty treatment facilities, residential treatment centers and outpatient clinics.
Methodist Health System