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San Diego County Supervisors OK Money For Psych Beds In North County

Tri-City Medical Center in Oceanside, June 2018.
Nicholas McVicker
Tri-City Medical Center in Oceanside, June 2018.

The San Diego County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday unanimously approved spending $17.4 million on a 16-bed psychiatric facility for the northern coastal region.

The funding will restore behavioral health beds in the form of a new facility at Tri-City Medical Center in Oceanside.

County officials and Tri-City Medical Center reached an agreement in principle last August to reopen the psychiatric unit, which closed in October 2018 and left the region without access to emergency mental health care.

According to the county, the 30-year operating agreement outlines what services Tri-City will provide at the facility, and how the county will compensate Tri-City. The agreement also covers how Tri-City will repay a no-interest loan for construction costs.

RELATED: County, Tri-City To Negotiate Behavioral Health Facility

Supervisor Jim Desmond praised his board colleagues, county staff and Tri-City leaders for their efforts.

"Last year, we had a crisis but today we're reversing that," Desmond said. "This didn't just happen — everyone rolled up their sleeves and got to work."

During a Monday news conference about the then-pending agreement, Desmond and Supervisor Kristin Gaspar were joined by officials from Tri-City and the county Health and Human Services Agency.

"Let this serve as model for what can happen when we decide to work outside of silos," Gaspar said.

Supervisor Nathan Fletcher said the agreement means "we have a clear path forward to restore these services and help address our regional needs."

Fletcher singled out Desmond and Gaspar, county staff, Tri-City leadership and Assemblywoman Tasha Boerner Horvath, D-Encinitas, for their efforts.