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River Place Behavioral Heath Opens To Meet Critical Need For Inpatient Mental Health Services

Ochsner Health System and Acadia Healthcare partner to provide new services in the River Parishes region

River Place Behavioral Heath Opens To Meet Critical Need For Inpatient Mental Health Services

LAPLACE, LA – Today, Ochsner Health and Acadia Healthcare (Acadia) joined St. John the Baptist Parish President Natalie Robottom to announce the opening of River Place Behavioral Health, an 82-bed inpatient behavioral health facility in LaPlace. Through a joint venture, Ochsner partnered with Acadia, a national leader in behavioral healthcare services, to repurpose the existing River Parishes Hospital building to provide critically needed mental healthcare services to residents across the state and region.

Louisiana currently ranks 39th in national rankings regarding access to care for those in need of mental health treatment, and recent population estimates demonstrate a need for more than 400 behavioral health beds in the greater New Orleans and Baton Rouge areas.

“The opening of River Place Behavioral Health is a significant step forward as we work to address the vital need for behavioral health services throughout Louisiana and our entire region,” said Warner Thomas, President & Chief Executive Officer, Ochsner Health System. “River Place illustrates the value of partnership, bringing together Acadia, a national expert in behavioral health, and Ochsner, a national leader in physician group practice, to deliver much needed inpatient behavioral health services to adults and adolescents.”

Through this partnership, Ochsner made a substantial contribution in providing the facility, and Acadia invested nearly $18 million dollars in the facility build-out, equipment and working capital. Over the next several months, River Place Behavioral Health will gradually grow to full capacity, with a total of four units and 82 inpatient beds.

“Through our collaboration with Ochsner, patients at River Place benefit from the expertise of Ochsner psychiatrists and providers,” said Rick Bennett, CEO, River Place Behavioral Health. “Together, we are delivering comprehensive and compassionate care in one of the most innovative behavioral health facilities in the country today, designed for the safety and comfort of both patients and staff.”

The facility has an adult acute care unit for patients 18 years and older who are struggling with depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder and other behavioral health issues. A dual diagnosis unit will treat patients with substance use disorders and other co-occurring mental health issues.

To meet the behavioral health needs of patients at different stages in life, a geriatric psychiatric unit will offer personalized treatment for patients who are 65 years or older and a specialized unit for adolescents will treat patients ages 12-17 years old.

The reconstructed space was built with safety in mind and has innovative safety features that are not found in many behavioral health facilities today. Large patient rooms and nursing stations are designed to provide safety and comfort for both patients and caregivers. Each of the four units has an outdoor area tailored to meet the needs of each patient population. The adolescent unit has a basketball court while the geriatric unit has wider sidewalks and seating areas to accommodate wheelchairs and walkers.

“As we continue to add more resources, we are able to greatly expand upon the behavioral health services we currently offer,” said Dr. Dean Hickman, Psychiatry Chair for Ochsner Health and Medical Director for River Place Behavioral Health. “By using Epic, Ochsner’s electronic medical record, River Place Behavioral Health will alleviate the fragmented care patients with mental health disorders typically receive.

The new facility will grow to an average daily census of approximately 74 patients and more than 2,800 annual admissions. When the facility is open at full capacity, River Place Behavioral Health will create approximately 150 new jobs in St. John the Baptist Parish, including recreation therapists, registered nurses, social services staff and mental health technicians.

“The opening of River Place Behavioral Health not only addresses the dire need for additional mental healthcare services in our region, but also creates new job opportunities for healthcare professionals in St. John the Baptist Parish,” said Natalie Robottom, St. John the Baptist Parish President. “With the new medical complex that opened last year and the repurposing of the former River Parishes Hospital, Ochsner has demonstrated its commitment to our region by enhancing healthcare services, creating new jobs and delivering on its promises to our community.

River Place Behavioral Health is the latest facility to open as part of the $30 million commitment Ochsner pledged to the River Parishes region in 2014. As part of that, Ochsner opened the new Ochsner Medical Complex – River Parishes in August 2017, completing a relocation of services from the former River Parishes Hospital campus to a newly-constructed, state-of-the-art facility housing an emergency department, onsite laboratory and radiology services using the latest technology.

“Ochsner is committed to saving and changing more lives right here in the River Parishes region,” said Stephen Robinson, CEO, Ochsner Medical Center – Kenner. “Healthcare services are the cornerstones of vibrant communities, and we look forward to continuing to enhance care options and bring new services to St. John the Baptist Parish.”

For more information on River Place Behavioral Health, including the admissions process, please visit or call (985) 303-2327.


About Ochsner Health
Ochsner Health is Louisiana’s largest non-profit, academic, healthcare system. Driven by a mission to Serve, Heal, Lead, Educate and Innovate, coordinated clinical and hospital patient care is provided across the region by Ochsner's 30 owned, managed and affiliated hospitals and more than 80 health centers and urgent care centers. Ochsner is the only Louisiana hospital recognized by U.S. News & World Report as a “Best Hospital” across four specialty categories caring for patients from all 50 states and more than 60 countries worldwide each year. Ochsner employs more than 18,000 employees and over 1,200 physicians in over 90 medical specialties and subspecialties, and conducts more than 700 clinical research studies. Ochsner Health is proud to be a tobacco-free environment. For more information, please visit and follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

About Acadia Healthcare

Acadia is a provider of inpatient behavioral healthcare services. Acadia operates a network of 587 behavioral healthcare facilities with approximately 17,400 beds in 39 states, the United Kingdom and Puerto Rico. Acadia provides behavioral health and addiction services to its patients in a variety of settings, including inpatient psychiatric hospitals, residential treatment centers, outpatient clinics and therapeutic school-based programs.