Hospital Proposal to Establish Mental Health Facility is Alive & Well

Jan. 20, 2023 8p

(WGTD)---Kenosha city and county officials have been concerned for years over the lack of an inpatient mental health treatment facility in the city.

Last year, the administration of Froedtert South announced that it was working to attract a mental health provider to its downtown hospital along with a patient rehab facility, even as it drew criticism for announcing the closure of the hospital’s emergency room.

A New Mexico-based company that offers rehab care later announced that it had struck a deal with Froedtert to create a center on three floors of the hospital’s Palmer Tower.

Now there’s word that plans for in-patient mental health care at the downtown hospital are still very much alive.

Kenosha alderman Jack Rose told WGTD News this week that Froedtert is working with three prospective providers, with the intention of eventually choosing one to provide both inpatient and outpatient care. "I think something is going to be done," Rose said. "We've been dealing with this for a long time." 

Rose has taken an active interest in mental health treatment over the years.

The optimistic news comes a few weeks after Froedtert cut the hours of its new urgent care clinic which had taken the place of the E-R. The hospital said usage didn’t justify keeping the doors open around the clock. 

A limited number of beds for in-patient mental health care are currently available at Ascension in Racine and at a facility in Waukegan. Kenosha County also operates on 60th St. its KARE Center, which offers short-term stays for mental health treatment and substance abuse recovery.