ECU Health and Acadia Healthcare break ground on new behavioral health hospital

Published 3:41 pm Friday, November 3, 2023

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

GREENVILLE – ECU Health and Acadia Healthcare held a ceremony Nov. 1 to celebrate the start of construction on its previously announced state-of-the-art, 144-bed behavioral health hospital in Greenville.

The event occurred on the site of the new hospital, located at 2820 MacGregor Downs Road, and celebrated the joint venture partnership between ECU Health and Acadia Healthcare, which will own and operate the new hospital together.

Slated to open in Spring 2025, the hospital will be a center of excellence situated less than a mile from ECU Health Medical Center. It will offer comprehensive inpatient and intensive outpatient treatment for adults, seniors, children and adolescents who struggle with acute symptoms of mental health such as anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), as well as treatment for co-occurring disorders.

Thomas Construction Group is the general contractor, and Stengel Hill Architecture is the architect for the project.

“Too many people, including children, in North Carolina get stuck in emergency departments when they urgently need short-term and high-quality behavioral health care,” said North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services Sec. Kody H. Kinsley. “This new hospital will create lasting change in this region by making behavioral health services easier to access when and where they are needed.”

The new hospital will also serve as a teaching hospital for psychiatry, social work, nursing and other behavioral health professionals. This will address the shortage of clinical behavioral healthcare professionals in the area, training students and residents from the Brody School of Medicine at East Carolina University, many of whom will go on to practice in eastern North Carolina and carry forth ECU Health’s mission to improve the health and well-being of the region.

The hospital will include 24 inpatient beds specifically for children and adolescents with behavioral health needs. These beds will be the first of their kind in ECU Health’s 29-county service area and the only child and adolescent beds within 75 miles of Greenville.

“The shortage of mental health resources is a critical challenge in North Carolina,” said Dr. Michael Waldrum, chief executive officer of ECU Health and dean of the Brody School of Medicine. “We are pleased construction is underway for our new behavioral health hospital, and this moment marks another milestone in our effort to improve access to behavioral health care for the region. It will provide the hope and healing residents of Greenville and the surrounding communities need when dealing with complex behavioral health issues.”

Prior to the pandemic, nearly one in five North Carolinians were experiencing a mental, behavioral or emotional disorder, according to a report from the North Carolina Institute of Medicine’s Task Force on Mental Health and Substance Use. In the past three years, national data indicates a growing trend of depression and anxiety symptoms. This partnership demonstrates a commitment to addressing mental illnesses and substance use disorders, normalizing and treating them with the latest science and medicine in appropriate care settings.

“This new hospital will provide North Carolinians with expanded access to quality behavioral health services and treatment from specialized clinical teams in a carefully designed environment,” said Chris Hunter, chief executive officer of Acadia Healthcare. “We are so proud to be affiliated with ECU Health, working together to address the strong need in this area and building upon their legacy and commitment to behavioral health services. This hospital will be a strong member of the Greenville community, collaborating with all organizations, hospitals and first responders. It will be a beacon of hope for patients and families in eastern North Carolina.”

To learn more about the partnership between ECU Health and Acadia Healthcare, visit