The Oklahoma City Planning Commission voted Thursday to recommend denying Cedar Ridge Hospital a permit to house adult psychiatric patients at its northeast Oklahoma City campus after a contentious hearing where residents from the area said they were concerned about runaways from the facility.
“This company has a history of noncompliance,” northeast Oklahoma City resident Richard Scroggins said at the hearing. “We need to know in our community that we can trust them, and that has not been proven at this point.”
Police logs show that there have been 13 calls for service from Cedar Ridge in the past 12 months to report runaways from the facility. Two of the calls were for adult patients, the remaining 11 calls were to report runaway juvenile patients, records show.
Cedar Ridge CEO Kevan Finley said that runaways, or elopements, as the hospital calls them, are uncommon at Cedar Ridge. He said the company is working to improve security by installing a fence and security cameras.
“We are concerned and we also want to be a good neighbor,” Finley said. “Those who suffer from mental illness are not likely to be violent, but they do need help.”
The Pennsylvania-based company Universal Health Services Inc. purchased Cedar Ridge about eight years ago, when it had already housed adult patients for several years. The company claims it was unaware until recently that it was licensed by the city to house only juvenile patients at its hospital at 6501 NE 50.
The hospital has used 36 beds of its 116-bed capacity to house adult patients since at least 2003.
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