Michigan Association of Health Plans

McLaren Northern Michigan breaks ground on new behavioral health unit

This article originally appeared in Up North Live. Read more here

McLaren Northern Michigan is taking new steps to provide more mental health care with its new Justin A Borra Behavioral Health Center.

The center is a renovation of its Cheboygan campus with 16 beds for adult behavioral health patients.

The 11,000-square-foot unit will treat patients suffering from mental health disorders not just in northern Michigan but across the state.

“We called locally, we could not get him in. He needed to go downstate actually to Indiana. And he refused to go because he couldn’t leave his mother,” said Incoming McLaren Northern Michigan Board Chair Dennis Hesselink. “Roughly a year and a half later he died and it was sad to watch. So that’s my “why” as to why we have to do this here. There’s many people here in our community that need help.”

McLaren received a $3 million grant from the state for renovations.

Donors also pledged another $4.3 million for the first phase of construction.

“I just did my job. I serve on the DHHS subcommittee of appropriations. I want to give a shout-out to a good friend of mine, former senator Pete MacGregor was very helpful in this,” said Republican Senator Wayne Schmidt. “I want to say thank you to the Governor for signing the bill too. Governor Whitmer, she recognizes the need for mental health and more beds here in northern Michigan. And so when we put the plan together, it was just my job to bring home that money.”

While the ground was “broken” on Monday, the actual construction on the building won’t start until later in the week.

The project is expected to be done by late 2022.

The behavioral health unit is one of three parts of the expansion.

The hospital will also expand its partial inpatient services and offices for the incoming psychiatrists.

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