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Childhood mental health facility to open

The Daily Progress - 11/19/2017

RICHMOND - Kiva Gate wood's son, Kyle, was so rambunctious that he was kicked out of three day cares by the time he was 3 years old.

"What do you do with that?" Gate wood asked a crowd of officials from Virginia Commonwealth University, VCU Health and Children's Hospital of Richmond at VCU on Friday morning.

As they sought answers and solutions to Kyle's extreme behavior, eventually she and her husband found their way to the Virginia Treatment Center for Children.

"That experience affected us, it really affected us," said Gate wood, who is now a member of the treatment center's advisory council. "It means the difference between our family being together and not being together."

A new Virginia Treatment Center for Children, a pediatric behavioral health facility, will open to patients in spring 2018, moving from its current location on VCU Health's downtown campus to the Children's Hospital of Richmond at VCU's Brook Road campus. A ribbon-cutting event was held on Friday.

The new, 119,000-square-foot facility will expand the treatment center's capacity, increasing the number of inpatient rooms from 24 to 32 and the number of outpatient rooms from 12 to 20.

The center has about 7,000 outpatient visits a year, but in its new home it will have the capacity to triple that number. Alexandria "Sandy" Lewis, the center's executive director, said the center will be hiring more staff to accommodate that growth. Right now it has about 150 employees.

Though the facility does not have a final price tag on it yet, it received $56 million in state funds for the project through the General Assembly in 2013, and raised close to an additional $10 million more.


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