Facility Will Be Center of Excellence for Behavioral Health

Tufts Medicine, a leading Massachusetts consumer oriented health system, and Acadia Healthcare Company, the largest standalone provider of behavioral health services in the U.S., announced today that they are forming a joint venture to build a 144-bed inpatient behavioral health facility on the site of the former Malden Hospital in Malden, Mass. The facility will address the critical need for accessible, high-quality inpatient behavioral health services for patients of all ages in the Greater Boston area.

“There is a critical need for capacity in behavioral health in the Commonwealth. Our plans to redevelop the Malden Hospital site into a state-of-the-art behavioral health hospital will help address the constraints on access to care that our health care providers and our patients and families face every day,” said Michael Dandorph, President and Chief Executive Officer of Tufts Medicine. “We are proud of the services that MelroseWakefield Hospital and Lawrence Memorial Hospital have provided and these plans expand upon the legacy of high-quality, compassionate care they have long delivered to patients.”

Representing a $65 million investment in the community, the proposed 144-bed hospital will provide the latest in inpatient and intensive outpatient behavioral health care programs for its patients, addressing the continuum of care needed to support the wellbeing of patients and their families. As a new construction, the facility will replace the Malden Hospital building and tout a smaller footprint than the existing structure. The project will also set aside more than nine acres of land for conservation and open space, creating lasting benefits for the communities of Malden and Medford.

With a proven track record of collaborating with health systems across the country, Acadia Healthcare maintains a commitment to patient- and family-centered care and strong clinical outcomes.

“Acadia is extremely pleased to be partnering with a premier integrated healthcare system like Tufts Medicine, and who shares in our mission and values,” said Christopher Hunter, Chief Executive Officer for Acadia Healthcare. “We look forward to creating this modern, patient-centered facility that will provide life-saving services to individuals and families throughout the region. The new hospital will also be a center of excellence for teaching the next generation of clinicians and staff so we can serve the community for many years to come.”

“We are committed to serving the needs of our communities and are excited about our plans to offer state-of-the-art resources in a modern facility that support our dedication to providing quality, compassionate care,” said Daniel Carlat, MD, Medical Director of Inpatient Psychiatry and Chair of Psychiatry at MelroseWakefield Hospital. “Hundreds of patients, including adolescents, are boarding in emergency departments for days due to insufficient psychiatric inpatient bed capacity. We are honored to have the opportunity to expand our programs and services to address behavioral health capacity constraints and community need through partnership with a nationally recognized expert in behavioral health who shares our mission and values for high-quality care.”

The project will go through a local and regulatory review process. Once it is complete, MelroseWakefield Hospital and Lawrence Memorial Hospital in Medford will consolidate their inpatient behavioral health services at the new hospital. The combination of services will contribute to the new center of excellence of comprehensive inpatient care, and the partnership will look to augment current services by developing innovative care delivery models to better integrate behavioral health services.

“In Massachusetts, and across the nation, the impact of COVID-19 has resulted in more individuals seeking emergency psychiatric care, including inpatient treatment,” said Secretary of Health and Human Services Marylou Sudders. “The Commonwealth continues to prioritize the expansion of behavioral health services to improve treatment for individuals and families. This expansion will help address critical behavioral health capacity needs and enable individuals to receive the right treatment where and when they need it.”

“Health care should be a basic human right, but too many people in Massachusetts currently struggle to access the high quality, timely and affordable mental health care they need,” said Senator Jason Lewis. “This new state-of-the-art behavioral health hospital will add significant new capacity to serve patients of all ages from Malden and the entire region. I’m very grateful to the team from Tufts Medicine, Mayor Gary Christenson, City Councilor Amanda Linehan, Representative Paul Donato, and everyone who has worked for years to put together this innovative project that combines critical health services with protected conservation land that will be a great asset to the community.”

“For over 20 years, this site has been an issue for the City and the neighborhood. Coming together on a solution that balanced the desires of many required genuine teamwork,” said Malden Mayor Gary Christenson. “I want to thank Tufts Medicine, our State Delegation, and City Councillor Amanda Linehan for their patience and perseverance. I know Tufts Medicine is sincere in their commitment to working collaboratively from here on as they go through the permitting process and address questions, and I look forward to the outcome of that process.”

“Behavioral health has become an important matter across our state,” said State Representative Paul Donato. I am glad to see the Malden Hospital site return to healthcare use to address these needs. I appreciate the thoughtfulness that has gone into this project, especially the commitment to providing greater open space as part of the redevelopment. I look forward to continuing to work closely with Tufts Medicine through the local and regulatory process to ensure continued community engagement and focus on community needs.”

“Across the Commonwealth, we have seen an increased and urgent need for behavioral health services, particularly in the past two years during the peak of the pandemic,” said State Representative Steven Ultrino. “In the State House, we have worked hard to pass comprehensive mental and behavioral health legislation addressing barriers to these services. I look forward to engaging with our residents and working with our partners at Tufts Medicine to ensure the facility will provide quality behavioral health services and address needs of our community.”

“This plan represents an exciting way to honor both the history of the Malden Hospital site and the neighborhood’s wishes to prioritize conservation here,” said Malden Ward 3 City Councillor Amanda Linehan. “I’m looking forward to diving right into an inclusive public engagement process that will give residents a chance to learn about the plans and share their vision for this new open space coming to our city. I want to especially thank the local advocates who fought for years to ensure public health would remain core to the site’s future. This is a project that we can all be proud of.”

“The City of Melrose applauds MelroseWakefield Hospital’s decision to renew the original purpose of this site as a healthcare facility,” said Mayor Paul Brodeur. “Our region is experiencing an increased need for access to mental health services, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The repurposing of this space will provide residents of Melrose, Malden and Medford with critical inpatient services and I’m excited that the expansion will help fill the region’s health care void. The City looks forward to continuing our long-standing relationship with MelroseWakefield Hospital and will continue to partner with the hospital as these plans move forward.”

Tufts Medicine and MelroseWakefield Hospital will be engaging with the community throughout the process, including holding a community meeting to provide more information about the project, answer questions from residents, and hear community feedback. Information about community engagement can be found at MelroseWakefield.org/MaldenHospFuture.

Tufts Medicine Formerly Wellforce

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