State officials conduct groundbreaking ceremony in caro


New state-of-the-art psychiatric hospital to serve 48 counties across Michigan

CARO (CCN) — A groundbreaking ceremony was held Friday for a new state-of-the-art psychiatric hospital in Caro. The facility will provide patients with improved recovery outcomes in a more welcoming and safer environment, according to state officials who were on hand at the event.

Michigan Governor Rick Snyder was joined at the construction site in the shadows of the existing Caro Center by local Caro area officials, state legislators, officials from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS), the Michigan Department of Technology, Management and Budget (DTMB) and contractors who will build the new facility.

“The new Caro Psychiatric Hospital will help meet the long-term psychiatric care needs in Michigan,” Gov. Snyder said. “The existing Caro Center has served its patients well, but it’s an aging facility, and the time has come for it to be replaced with a modern facility that can provide a better environment for patient care.”

The new, 225,000 square-foot Caro Psychiatric Hospital is scheduled to be completed in 2021 and will be able to serve 200 adults — an increase of 50 beds from the existing facility. The therapeutic and operational landscape of the new hospital is expected to positively impact patient outcomes, patient and family satisfaction, patient safety, and staff efficiency and satisfaction.

Constructed in 1913, the existing Caro Center opened in 1914 as the Caro Farm Colony for Epileptics, serving as the only State of Michigan residential treatment center for individuals with seizure disorders until 1997. The facility currently provides service to adults with serious mental illness from 48 Michigan counties.

“The vision of MDHHS is to transform the health and human services system to improve the lives of Michigan families,” said MDHHS Director Nick Lyon. “This project is one result of our department’s comprehensive evaluation of the five state-operated psychiatric facilities and we’re eager to take this vital step forward in improving psychiatric care in Michigan.”

The construction manager for the project, Granger Construction Company, has already begun demolishing some existing structures. Construction of the new facility will begin in spring 2019. The current facility is at 2000 Chambers Road in Caro.

“We are committed to creating a modern, cost-efficient facility that will better meet the needs of the staff and residents of the hospital,” said David DeVries, director of the Michigan Department of Technology, Management and Budget. “Our team at DTMB will keep costs in line and ensure timelines are met throughout the project to ensure this much needed new facility opens on time in 2021.”

Also speaking at the event — and digging into the ground with shovels during a ceremony where the new hospital will be built — were Rose Laskowski, director of the Caro Center; two area state legislators (Sen. Mike Green and Rep. Edward Canfield) and Caro Mayor Joe Greene.

PHOTO CAPTION:  The photo above at left is of the ceremonial groundbreaking for Caro's new 200-bed, state-of-the-art psychiatric hospital. From left are Michigan Department of Technology, Management and Budget Director David DeVries; Cynthia Kelly, director of the MDHHS Bureau of Hospitals and Administrative Operations for Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities; Gov. Rick Snyder; Caro Center Director Rose Laskowski; and MDHHS Director Nick Lyon.

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