June 17, 2021

Sheppard Pratt Celebrates Grand Opening of Baltimore/Washington Behavioral Health Campus

Set on a 40-acre campus, the new Sheppard Pratt mental and behavioral health hospital in Elkridge, Maryland celebrated its grand opening recently.

The 85-bed, 156,000-sf hospital emphasizes using nature as part of the healing process, and offers mental health and addiction services for adolescents and adults. Among its many features, it includes psychiatric urgent care, a service that was not previously offered in the area that will reduce strain on nearby emergency rooms. The project’s grand opening was covered by The Baltimore Business Journal and Baltimore Sun among other local and trade media.

The hospital is nestled in a peaceful, forested environment, providing a serene view from inpatient units. All on-unit therapy and activity spaces look directly into the woodland surroundings, and beautifully landscaped interior courtyards give patients opportunities to connect with the outdoors. Scattered throughout the campus are walking paths and reflective spaces for patients, visitors and staff. The campus also features a gymnasium, three basketball courts, and multipurpose room for recreational activities. 

“With this extensive and thoughtful facility, Sheppard Pratt is demonstrating its commitment to improving access to mental health treatment for the neighboring population who lack these resources,” said Tim Rommel, CannonDesign’s Mental Health/Behavioral Health Practice Leader. “Our mental and behavioral healthcare practice is extremely proud to be part of this significant project that will not only help to reduce the stigma around mental health with such a large campus dedicated solely to mental health, but will also improve patient outcomes for decades to come in the Baltimore area.”

Sheppard Pratt Health System is the largest private nonprofit provider of mental health services in the country. Its new facility makes its services more accessible to the communities it serves; the new campus is in an area of rapid development and close to mass transit and interstates. In addition to providing services to adults, the project includes a separate adolescent unit for patients ages 12 through 17, who require crisis stabilization in an inpatient environment.

“Our new hospital campus will redefine the standard of excellence in mental health care and help us broaden our impact to serve more people,” said Harsh K. Trivedi, MD, MBA, president and CEO of Sheppard Pratt. “Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, we were seeing an urgent need for increased access to high-quality, compassionate mental health care. The Sheppard Pratt – Baltimore/Washington Campus is the first bold step in a number of key initiatives that we are undertaking in our journey to meet the demands for our care and services.”

The COVID-19 pandemic exacerbated a mental health crisis in the United States that has been simmering for years. Prior to the pandemic, studies from the National Alliance of Mental Illness (NAMI) showed that 1 in 5 adults and 1 in 6 youth ages 6-17 are affected by a mental illness each year. However, only 43 percent of those adults, and 50 percent of those children receive care. Isolation, loss, illness, unemployment and more from the past year has created an even more urgent need for mental health care and resources.

In the midst of the pandemic, Dr. Trivedi told us, “I believe a silver lining to this pandemic is that it is shifting how we talk about mental health, and there appears to be a greater willingness to discuss the importance of mental health care. This pandemic is also changing how we can provide care. We are seeing a loosening of restrictions on telehealth… which enabled greater access to care because we can now meet those in need where they are.”

The hospital was build to LEED Silver standards. Benchmark Construction was the owner’s representative for the project, and Lewis Contractors was the builder.

Key members of the design team were on hand for the ribbon cutting.

From left to right: Stephanie Vito, Kent Muirhead, Scott Thomas, Don Conner, Christina LoConte, Tim Rommel.