Governor DeWine Cuts Ribbon on New Central Ohio Behavioral Healthcare Facility

Government and Politics

May 22, 2024

From: Ohio Governor Mike DeWine

Columbus, OH -- Ohio Governor Mike DeWine and Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services (OhioMHAS) Director LeeAnne Cornyn hosted a ribbon-cutting ceremony on May 22nd, to unveil the all-new Central Ohio Behavioral Healthcare (COBH) hospital in Columbus.

“As we prepare to open the doors to this new hospital, we are also opening the doors to a new era for Ohio’s mental healthcare system,” said Governor DeWine. “This world-class facility offers the space and resources necessary to provide more patient-friendly treatment strategies for individuals facing serious mental health challenges. We believe this new hospital will open more pathways to recovery and enhance our ability to transform lives.”

COBH will replace the Twin Valley Behavioral Healthcare (TVBH) Kosar building next door as the State’s regional psychiatric hospital serving central Ohio. TVBH opened in 1977.

The new COBH hospital contains 208 beds – 30 more than its predecessor. On top of increased patient capacity, the new facility has been designed to meet the needs of today’s behavioral healthcare environment by offering significantly more space.

At over 270,000 square feet, COBH offers nearly 100,000 square feet of additional space. The new hospital includes eight patient units, each with its own intensive care suite. The facility also includes enhanced exercise and relaxation options for patients, featuring three secured courtyards with amenities such as a walking path, shelter, and basketball court.

COBH also contains an indoor gymnasium, a social learning center for patients, art rooms, a meditation room and chapel, and a courtroom area for patients receiving court-mandated treatment.

“With all of these options available to patients to enhance their treatment experience, the new Central Ohio Behavioral Healthcare facility will continue to solidify Ohio’s reputation as a trailblazer and national leader in the behavioral healthcare field, said OhioMHAS Director LeeAnne Cornyn. “Under Governor DeWine’s leadership, the well-being of all citizens – especially those impacted by mental illness and substance use disorders – is a top priority. This modern facility represents the best of current patient care philosophies and truly showcases that our hospitals are the ‘Heart of Hope’ for the patients and families we serve.” 

The new facility also offers increased privacy for patients. At the new COBH, 85 percent of patient rooms will be single occupancy, which is often preferred by patients and their families. At the outgoing TVBH Kosar building, all of the patient rooms had multiple beds.

COBH will be staffed by more than 500 employees, including psychiatric physicians, nurse practitioners, nurses, therapeutic program workers, and others, who provide around-the-clock care for patients.

Staff and patients will begin moving into COBH in June. Once the move is complete, TVBH’s Kosar building will be demolished and replaced with green space.

COBH is expected to serve 990 patients per year from 15 central Ohio counties: Champaign, Crawford, Delaware, Fayette, Franklin, Highland, Knox, Licking, Logan, Marion, Morrow, Pickaway, Pike, Ross, and Union counties.

With the support of Governor DeWine and the Ohio General Assembly, the State of Ohio invested $140 million over the previous two biennial Capital Budgets to fund this state-of-the-art psychiatric hospital. OhioMHAS broke ground on the facility in October 2020, in partnership with Hasenstab Architects, Elford Construction, and the Ohio Facilities Construction Commission.

Following the ribbon-cutting ceremony, Governor DeWine and Director Cornyn joined project leaders, OhioMHAS staff, and other event attendees for a tour of the new building.

Photos of New Facility

With support from the Ohio Arts Council Percent for Art program, the hospital also features two works of art created by Akron-based mosaic artist Bonnie Cohen: a hummingbird hovering amid leaves and sunflowers and a trio of butterflies in flight. These pieces are meant to symbolize the principles of trauma-informed care and reflect the complex path to mental well-being.

Since taking office, Governor DeWine has placed a strong emphasis on enhancing State tools and resources to respond to mental health challenges in communities across Ohio.

In his recent State of the State Address, Governor DeWine celebrated work to bring Mobile Response Stabilization Services (MRSS) to 38 counties. MRSS is a rapid mobile response and stabilization service for young people who are experiencing significant behavioral or emotional distress and their families. During his address, the Governor called to further expand this service into all 88 counties statewide.

Also during his State of the State remarks, the Governor stressed the continued importance of filling in-demand jobs within the mental health field, calling on colleges and universities to fully utilize the Great Minds Fellowship to recruit new behavioral health professionals. Made possible through the support of the General Assembly, the Great Minds Fellowship provides $10,000 to students pursuing degrees in certain areas of behavioral health.

OhioMHAS operates six regional psychiatric hospitals across the state. These specialized facilities provide short-term, intensive treatment to patients in both inpatient and community-supported environments. They also deliver comprehensive care to patients committed by criminal courts. All six hospitals have achieved The Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organization’s Gold Seal of Approval for providing high quality care and safety.