Phase I of the JPS Bond Program is officially underway. JPS Health Network hosted a groundbreaking ceremony on Wednesday, October 26, for the new Psychiatric Emergency Center (PEC) designed to treat patients experiencing mental health crisis. The facility is part of the JPS Bond Program project plan for expansion and renovation to modernize the JPS campus.
Representatives from the Tarrant County Commissioners Court, JPS Board of Managers, and the City of Fort Worth joined JPS executives, healthcare providers, and other team members to celebrate the new facility that will provide the necessary support to the people in our communities experiencing behavioral and mental health issues.
“With this new Psychiatric Emergency Center, JPS will be able to redefine our point of mental and behavioral health access and support the growing healthcare needs in Tarrant County,” Dr. Karen Duncan, JPS President and CEO, said.
The new facility will be located on the southwest side of campus, along Allen Street at South Jennings Avenue, and will increase the number of patient care spaces. In addition, Dr. Alan Podawiltz, Chair of JPS Behavioral Health, said that this new location will open more education opportunities for future healthcare providers to reduce the stigma on mental health.
“The unique clinical training experiences the learners gain being here at the PEC has placed it at one of the most significant experiences and is the most sought after, but we have to be careful because we can only have so many people at a time,” Dr. Podawiltz said. “So, our new PEC may be able to provide more opportunity to continue to share that knowledge about mental health.”
Being the only one in Tarrant County, the PEC has made an impact on many families, so improving it will be beneficial as the need for access to mental health resources increases.
“This will be a very critical tool that we are improving on in that toolbox of how we work with people with mental health issues,” B. Glen Whitley, Tarrant County Judge, said.
Dr. Podawiltz said the JPS Psychiatric Emergency Center is a true partnership with the community and it is something other communities do not have. This facility is only going to make the service we provide better.
“The PEC has helped many families on the road to recovery who might have felt trapped by their circumstances, felt alone in their suffering, or ashamed of the stigma of mental health,” Dr. Podawiltz said. “It’s the first stop for families and individuals when they have any kind of crisis and they know when they come to the PEC that they’re going to be able to find support.”