Challenge grant expected to boost funding for West Springs expansion

A $2 million challenge grant is expected to help raise the funding needed for a psychiatric hospital expansion under construction in Grand Junction.

Mind Springs Health, an organization that provides services in Western Colorado and operates the West Springs Hospital in Grand Junction, announced the grant.

The grant includes a $1,000,000 gift from a Roaring Fork Valley family, a $500,000 grant from the Alpenglow Foundation in Basalt and a total of $500,000 in additional gifts from the Roaring Fork and Vail valleys.

The grant will match other donations up to $2 million, potentially generating the final $4 million needed to complete construction on the hospital expansion this year.

West Springs Hospital operates the only inpatient psychiatric hospital between Denver and Salt Lake City. The $34 million expansion will add up to 64 beds, doubling the number of patients that can be treated at the inpatient facility. The expanded hospital also will include a dedicated child and adolescent wing, indoor and outdoor recreation spaces and enhanced visiting areas.

Brian Davidson, J. Robert Young and Rod and Beth Slifer, the four leaders of the fund-raising campaign, thanked Pitkin County Commissioner Greg Poschman for his role in obtaining the challenge grant.

Poschman publicized the project on social media and made personal appeals to donors in the Roaring Fork and Vail valleys to help address the shortage of psychiatric beds. “With exactly zero inpatient psychiatric beds in our valley, local hospitals and law enforcement bear the brunt of these emergencies without the resources to handle them,” Poschman said.   “We have to address this and bring more local resources to combat our exceptionally high suicide rates.”

John and Laurel Catto of the Alpenglow Foundation said Poschman’s appeal resonated with them. “The fact that the Western Slope has less than 20 percent of the national average for psychiatric beds shocked us. We are convinced that our community will benefit immeasurably from increased inpatient capacity at West Springs.”

Based in Glenwood Springs, Mind Springs Health offers counseling, therapy and other services in a 10-county region of Western Colorado. The organization operates 13 offices for outpatient treatments as well as the West Springs Hospital in Grand Junction. For more information, visit www.MindSpringsHealth.org.

For more information about the fund-raising campaign for the expansion at West Springs Hospital, visit the website at www.BuildingSanctuary.org.