Behavioral care facility underway in Liberty

LIBERTY — Mercy Health and Lifepoint Behavioral Health broke ground Tuesday on a new behavioral health hospital on Belmont Avenue in the township.

The joint venture partnership between Mercy Health-Youngstown and Lifepoint Health was announced last year. The 61,900-square-foot, 72-bed hospital at 3170 Belmont Ave. will provide inpatient and outpatient treatment.

“Mercy Health is excited to once again stand alongside Lifepoint Health to break ground on a specialty care facility that will offer much-needed inpatient behavioral health services to patients throughout the Mahoning Valley,” said John Luellen, M.D., market president of Mercy Health — Lorain and Youngstown in a Tuesday news release.

“Behavioral health is a critical component to our community’s health and well-being, and Mercy Health remains committed to providing high-quality services and good help to those in need,” he said.

The facility will provide care for adults and geriatric patients experiencing a broad range of mental health illnesses, including depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, bipolar disorder, psychosis, personality disorders, and mental health concerns accompanied by substance abuse.


“Really it’s a specialized treatment, instead of just being another unit inside of St. Elizabeth’s,” said Lifepoint Behavioral Health President Russ Bailey.

In caring for those who face anxiety, depression, suicidal ideation, etc., Bailey explained that the new hospital will be able to help them determine treatment and coping mechanisms to provide them throughout their journey, once they get out of the critical nature of needing to be inpatient and stay.

Bailey continued, “We have specialized programs that our treatment teams have utilized in other markets and expertise associated with child and adolescent, adult and geriatric, and there are specific differences in just the overall needs of a child versus a geriatric. Additionally, we also have a program called Help for Heroes, which helps to serve first responders, veterans and active duty servicemen and women, which is an exciting thing.”

The building will have three sets of 24 pods that will assist all ages, depending on the need at the time. The pods are planned for flexibility to accommodate what the community needs, Bailey added.

Amenities will include a partial hospitalization program and an intensive outpatient program, for patients experiencing a broad range of mental health illnesses.

“Our teams at Lifepoint Behavioral Health and Lifepoint Rehabilitation are pleased to bring new and expanded specialty services to the Mahoning Valley alongside Mercy Health,” Bailey said in the Tuesday news release. “Mercy Health shares our commitment to providing high-quality, patient-centered care, and we look forward to expanding access to vitally needed behavioral health services to Youngstown-area residents when we open Mercy Health Behavioral Hospital in the fall of 2025. As we celebrate the start of construction, I look forward to seeing all the ways we will advance our mission of making communities healthier in partnership with Mercy Health.”

Mercy Health Behavioral Hospital will be architecturally designed to create a therapeutic environment for patients, according to the release. The facility will feature “open, airy spaces with amenities that include spacious patient rooms, community areas, outside courtyards and state-of-the-art clinical spaces to support the needs of patients and families.”

“Some people need outpatient services, and they’ll do well,” Lucellen said Tuesday. “But some people need a more intensive outpatient program, which we’ll be able to offer here. The next step in that is what’s called a partial-hospitalization program. We’ll be offering that here.”

The final step in continuing for those most in need, or those most at risk, Luellen said, is the inpatient hospitalization. “So we build the inpatient setting, and then we offer that entire scope of services around it,” he added.

“This is a very exciting day for us because these are very mission-driven decisions for us, to enhance the services in the community, where we know those services are necessary,” Luellen concluded. “Particularly when we see, in many cases, systems moving away from providing some of these services. It’s good to be leaning into them.”


Ground was broken in the fall for the new inpatient Mercy Health Rehabilitation Hospital on Belmont Avenue. The joint venture with LifePoint intends to move acute rehabilitation services from St. Elizabeth Youngstown Hospital to provide convenience to local patients and better utilize newer technology and equipment for physical rehabilitation patients.

“This is for patients after surgery, after stroke, and after trauma,” Kravec said. “So, that will open up at some point in 2024.”

It will include 60 beds, plus a 12-bed brain injury unit. There are also plans for dialysis treatment space and rooms for physical, occupational and speech therapy, nutritional services and a pharmacy.

Mercy Health also announced in January it would be entering into a joint venture partnership to build and operate a new inpatient behavioral health hospital in the Mahoning Valley.

The Family Medicine Residency Program expanded into the new rehabilitation center on Belmont Avenue, the site of a former Veterans Affairs location. The facility was renovated to house primary care practices, women’s health services and behavioral health and substance use disorder services.

The center, which opened in March, also includes a Spanish-speaking primary care practice, Mercy Health’s family medicine residency program, a new addiction medicine fellowship and a pregnancy program.

Have an interesting story? Contact Daniel Newman by email at dnewman@tribtoday.com. Follow him on X, formerly Twitter, @TribDNewman.


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