After complaints about security and escaped patients from residents in the area, Cedar Ridge Hospital has dropped expansion plans at its campus in northeast Oklahoma City. The hospital instead will opt to take over a psychiatric facility in Bethany that Deaconess Hospital closed earlier this year.
Reopening the Bethany clinic will help alleviate what mental health officials says is a shortage of beds for patients in crisis in Oklahoma.
However’ Cedar Ridge still must gain approval from Oklahoma City officials for a special permit to allow adult patients at its in-patient psychiatric hospital at 6505 NE 50.
Although Cedar Ridge has accepted adults for in-patient treatment for the past decade, its special permit with Oklahoma City allows the facility to house only adolescent patients. Cedar Ridge has 116 in-patient beds, 36 of which are reserved for adult patients.
The psychiatric hospital discovered that it was licensed to house only adolescent patients when it began to prepare a now-scrapped expansion plan for the hospital. Cedar Ridge has accepted adult patients since at least 2003, when the hospital was owned and operated by a different company, said attorney David Box, who is representing Cedar Ridge in its application with the city.
“When we were first hired, the application pending before the Planning Commission was to expand from 116 beds to 140,” Box said. “That has since been taken off the table, and it was not known until the expansion plans that the old special permit was in place.”
The Oklahoma City Planning Commission is scheduled Thursday to consider Cedar Ridge’s application to revise its permit to allow for adult patients at the facility. Residents in the area have submitted a petition asking for the city to deny Cedar Ridge a special permit, after reports of runaway patients from the facility.
According to Oklahoma City police records, there have been 13 calls for service from Cedar Ridge in the past 12 months to report runaways from the facility — referred to by the hospital as “elopements.” Eleven of the 13 calls for service were in reference to juvenile patients, according to police records.
Adult patients at Cedar Ridge are considered to be acute patients and are not allowed outside at the hospital, but juvenile patients who have outside recreational time and who also attend school on the hospital grounds sometimes attempt to leave without permission, Cedar Ridge CEO Kevan Finley said.
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