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Sheppard Pratt plans to build children's hospital in Towson

Sheppard Pratt President and CEO Harsh Trivedi speaks with WMAR in 2021
Sheppard Pratt main campus in Towson
Posted at 5:38 PM, Dec 22, 2022
and last updated 2023-01-03 18:12:01-05

TOWSON, Md. — Sheppard Pratt is hoping to build a children's hospital on its Towson campus that would be "a national model for youth mental health."

It's part of the psychiatric hospital's ambitious $150 million project to expand behavioral health services in Maryland over the next eight years. Sheppard Pratt President and CEO Harsh Trivedi is asking the state to contribute $100 million over eight years - and Gov. Larry Hogan has agreed to fund that.

Hogan's preliminary budget plan for Fiscal Year 2024, released last week, includes $100 million for Sheppard Pratt to build the children's hospital, as well as expand capacity at its new Elkridge campus, build a neuroimaging center, and build a global training center for workforce development.

Trivedi sent a letter to the state health department in September outlining the plan for "a 21st century behavioral health infrastructure in Maryland."

The expansion plans would serve "a high-risk group of 200 children and 500 adults with complex behavioral health conditions [who] languish in emergency rooms, try to survive on our streets, and experience higher rates of harm to themselves and others." The letter notes that youth in the custody of Juvenile Services, or Human Services, can wait for more than a year to be placed into specialized treatment programs.

Trivedi, in a press release, thanked Hogan for recommending the plan be funded, saying:

“During this unprecedented mental health crisis, our bold plan will build upon decades of partnership with the State of Maryland to create new tertiary psychiatric inpatient services for both children and adults, including the opening of a dedicated children’s hospital. As a national leader in the care and treatment of people with severe mental illness (SMI), this initiative will enable the development of new treatment modalities, spur innovation to ensure best practice implementation across the field, and reimagine and train the mental health workforce of the future. This moonshot for mental health will be a game changer in providing hope, advancing care, transforming lives, and achieving mental health equity.”

The Maryland Hospital Association also posted on Facebook: "We thank the Governor for these important investments in health and health care. This will go a long way toward addressing some of the critical challenges hospitals are facing. We will advocate for additional relief for hospitals in the upcoming legislative session."