Acadia, Henry Ford Team Up to Tackle Nation’s ‘Dire Need for Mental Health Care Providers’

Health system Henry Ford Health and behavioral health provider Acadia (Nasdaq: ACHC) have broken ground on their joint venture hospital that was first announced in 2020. The pair are touting the “state-of-the-art” facility, which will also be an academic hub, as a pipeline for next-generation behavioral health clinicians as well.

And as for the bigger picture, this partnership is additionally representative of the growing number of joint ventures launched by traditional health systems and behavioral health-specific providers, including Acadia.

Dubbed the Henry Ford Behavioral Health Hospital, the project will include 184 inpatient beds, with a total capacity of 192 beds. It will be able to provide inpatient psychiatric care for adults, seniors, adolescents and children.


The plan is to eventually consolidate inpatient services from Henry Ford Kingswood Hospital and Henry Ford Macomb Hospital-Mt. Clemens into the new behavioral health facility.

Located in the Detroit metro area, the new hospital will be both a treatment and teaching hospital. The partners are pitching the new JV as a way to help train and expand the behavioral health workforce.

“This will help address the dire need for mental healthcare providers both locally and nationally,” Dr. Cathrine B. Frank, chair of Henry Ford Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Health Services, said in a statement. “One estimate shows our country will need up to 31,000 more psychiatrists to meet demand in the coming years. Unfortunately, nearly [40%] of people in Michigan do not get treatment for their mental illnesses.”


Henry Ford has more than 250 locations throughout Michigan. It offers a continuum of health care services. Its facilities include five acute care hospitals, three behavioral health facilities, primary care and urgent care centers. It has a staff of 33,000, including 6,000 physician researchers.

Acadia is a publicly traded behavioral health provider, which operates a network of 238 behavioral health care facilities in 40 states and Puerto Rico.

This isn’t Acadia’s first JV. In July, the company announced a $65 million deal with Tufts Medicine, marking its 17th joint venture. The company announced a 144-bed JV with ECU Health in Greenville, North Carolina, also in July.

Acadia’s former CEO, Debbie Osteen, previously told Behavioral Health Business that the organization is bullish on JVs.

Current CEO Christopher Hunter has continued that stance.

“We plan to open our eighth joint venture facility in partnership with Covenant Health in Knoxville, Tennessee, during the third quarter, and our ninth joint venture facility in partnership with Lutheran Health Network in Fort Wayne, Indiana, during the fourth quarter of 2022,” Hunter said during the company’s Q2 earnings call.

Acadia isn’t the only behavioral health provider eyeing JVs as a source of growth. In June, UHS (NYSE: UHS) inked a deal with Trinity Health on a new 60-bed adult psychiatric hospital.

“It’s a significant source of growth for us,” UHS Chief Financial Officer Steve Filton said during the 42nd Annual Cowen Health Care Conference in March. “More than 50% of the behavioral beds in the U.S. are run by acute care hospitals. We have found that most of those acute care hospitals seem to acknowledge that they don’t do a very good job of running that service line.”

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