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Washington State News

New Behavioral Health Teaching Hospital Opens in Seattle

Office of Gov. Jay Inslee
May 18, 2024

Former Speaker of the Washington State House of Representatives Frank Chopp and the University of Washington’s director of state relations Rashi Gupta cut the ribbon to open a new behavioral health teaching hospital in Seattle on May 15, 2024.

SEATTLE – Wednesday marked the opening of the University of Washington’s Center for Behavioral Health and Learning, an innovative new teaching hospital in Seattle.


The facility is a cutting-edge behavioral health hospital with 150 beds that will go to use right away. Gov. Jay Inslee proposed the hospital in 2018 as part of a long-term strategy for transforming Washington’s behavioral health facilities. Every amenity was designed to accommodate hard-to-treat patients with acute medical and behavioral health conditions.

East-facing hallways end in large picture windows pleasantly framing Mount Rainier. Every doorknob and piece of furniture was intentionally designed to prevent self-harm. Modern therapies will treat people who have moderate severe disorders, like a transcranial magnetic stimulation helmet that relieves depression and addictions.

The opening is the latest in a string of expansions of the state’s behavioral health capacity. Last year, the state purchased and converted a Tukwila hospital for use as a behavioral health facility. Olympic Heritage Behavioral Health is now serving over 70 patients and will add more in the future. Expansions at Eastern State Hospital, Western State Hospital, and Maple Lane have opened even more beds. The state will have opened a total of around 600 beds by the end of this year since 2022.

But the new facility in Seattle is important for a second reason: it’s a teaching hospital. Medical students from the University of Washington will train there and work with real patients as they prepare to enter the field of psychiatry. After all, beds don’t cure people; people cure people.

“This facility expands the University of Washington’s capacity to educate and train the desperately-needed professionals who will serve those patients and fill key gaps in our state’s behavioral health workforce,“ said UW President Ana Marie Cauce. “The physicians, psychiatrists, nurses, social workers, pharmacists who need to go out and who will go out to serve every community in Washington state will be educated right here.”


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