Wellpath Recovery Solutions was selected by the Department of Children and Families in 1998 to operate South Florida State Hospital, the first in the nation to be completely privatized. Wellpath designed, constructed and financed a completely new 350 licensed bed facility on the same state-owned property with 341 beds currently under contract. When the new complex was completed in December 2000, the whole hospital was moved to the new site, the only new state civil psychiatric hospital to have been built in the state in the last 40 years.
Scope of Work:
The mission of the facility is to empower the persons served to acquire and use the skills and supports necessary to achieve maximum independence, success and satisfaction in the environment of their choice. The population consists primarily of severely and persistently mentally ill adults who are involuntarily committed to the hospital when community treatment alternatives are no longer effective. The hospital provides a secure setting with longer-term treatment by psychiatrist-led teams of clinicians. Students from various professional disciplines, such as medicine, psychology and pharmacy also participate as part of their training regimen.
The entire complex consists of one-story Mediterranean-looking buildings with barrel tile roofs, tile floors, pleasant colors and lush landscaping. The persons served live in seven residential areas, including one designed for the elderly with amenities to meet their special needs, and one for those with extraordinary medical needs. There are two person bedrooms, each having its own bathroom. The distinctly non-institutional atmosphere not only improves the mental healthcare experience for persons served and their families, it also plays an integral part in treatment and recovery. Consistent with the role recovery philosophy, which emphasizes the opportunity to make choices, a wealth of programming is offered in the Town Center, the complex in the center of the campus. Buildings in a quadrangle house life skills programs, education and career development, an addictions program, dining areas, gift shop, beauty parlor, a chapel, and a library. Gazebos and a clock tower decorate the grounds and provide gathering places for socializing. Since Wellpath assumed responsibility for the operation of the hospital, the number of people admitted in a given year (1999-2000) was greater than in any of the previous 10 years, as was the number discharged, reflecting a philosophy of active treatment and an emphasis on community reintegration. Readmissions have been at about half the rate of similar Joint Commission-accredited hospitals. Compliant with national best practices, incidents of restraint and seclusion were substantially reduced from an average of 13 per month in 1998 to less than one (1) per month by the Fall of 2000. The facility continues to maintain the incidents at an average of less than one (1) per month.
South Florida State Hospital Doctoral Psychology Internship Program
South Florida State Hospital, a 350 bed state psychiatric hospital, has an internship program that is accredited by the American Psychological Association (APA), and is a member of the Association of Psychology Postdoctoral and Internship Centers (APPIC). The accreditation status of this program can be obtained from the APA Office of Program Consultation & Accreditation, 750 First Street NE, Washington, DC, 20002-4242, (202) 336-5979 and at its website: www.apa.org/ed/accreditation. The internship training program provides a unique opportunity to gain practical experience in assessment and intervention with a diverse patient population. Goals include increasing awareness of and sensitivity to the cultural, social and psychological needs of special populations and learning to adapt traditional modalities while receiving direct supervision and formal didactic training. The facility provides treatment using a multidisciplinary psychiatric rehabilitation model based on a philosophy of Illness Management & Recovery. The intern functions broadly as a clinical practitioner, however, experience with specialized behavior plans, cognitive assessment, and forensic assessment and treatment is also provided. In addition, interns will participate in each of the three following rotations: (1) Forensic (2) Assessment and (3) Specialized Behavior Planning.
- Replacement facility completed on schedule and within budget
- Extensive physical plant improvements and clean-up of existing facility
- 86% reduction in the average length of stay of those admitted and discharged under Wellpath Recovery Solutions vs. state operation
- Recognized by The Joint Commission as a Top Performer on Key Quality Measures
- Continuum of Care includes re-entry into the community with follow-up care and coordination with community-based services
- Virtual elimination of restraint and seclusion
- Achieved Joint Commission accreditation in July 1999, approximately one year ahead of contractual obligation
- Daily operation of the existing facility continued without disturbance while a new, state-of-the-art, purpose-built replacement facility was constructed
- Safely transitioned 450 employees and 325 residents from the old facility into the new facility within a five-day period without any disruption of normal services