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Palomar Health Selects Kindred Behavioral Health as Partner to Build and Operate New Inpatient Behavioral Health Hospital, the Palomar Behavioral Health Institute

The joint venture, free-standing, 120-bed facility will help meet the region’s rapidly growing need for mental health services

SAN DIEGO and BRENTWOOD, Tenn. – July 14, 2022 - Palomar Health and Kindred Behavioral Health (KBH), a business unit of LifePoint Health, today announced that they have entered into a joint venture partnership to build and operate the new Palomar Behavioral Health Institute.  

The Palomar Behavioral Health Institute is projected to cost $100 million and employ more than 200 health care professionals. The three-story, approximately 90,000-square-foot facility will include 120 inpatient beds and provide outpatient services.

Palomar Health has been planning a comprehensive expansion of its Behavioral Health Services, and the construction of a new Behavioral Health Hospital will allow Palomar Health to provide equitable, person-centered services across the continuum, treating the most vulnerable members of the community with dignity and the appropriate level of care. The new hospital’s highly-specialized and compassionate environment will foster healing and reestablish patients’ connections to the community, which is critical for long-term recovery. 

“To achieve the extraordinary in healthcare, the entire organization constantly seeks better ways to improve every part of the patient experience and to always provide the highest quality of care. This partnership helps us reimagine behavioral health and offer support to so many people who need it, which is very important to us and our community,” says Diane Hansen, President and CEO of Palomar Health.  

Palomar Health is currently the only safety net hospital providing inpatient behavioral health services for Medi-Cal beneficiaries in the North San Diego County region, which is home to over 1.1 million people. It provides the following behavioral health services:

  • Inpatient Care
  • Acute Behavioral Health Unit
  • GeroPsychiatric Unit
  • Outpatient Therapy Services
  • Crisis Stabilization Unit
  • Substance Use Disorder Recovery Center (including adolescents and Medi-Cal beneficiaries)

This new joint venture between Palomar Health and Kindred expands on a longstanding, 20-year partnership between the organizations. The behavioral health hospital will be located a short distance from the Escondido campus, where a 52-bed inpatient rehabilitation facility was constructed in partnership with Kindred Rehabilitation Services (KRS), also a business unit of LifePoint. KRS and KBH currently operate more than 30 such joint-venture, specialty hospitals across 18 states. 

“We are excited to expand our relationship with Palomar Health and leverage their clinical expertise to make the North San Diego community healthier,” said Cleve Haralson, senior vice president of joint venture and strategic services, LifePoint Health. “We expect to break ground within 12 months and welcome our first behavioral health patients in 2024. Through both our rehabilitation and behavioral health specialty hospital partnerships with Palomar, we are proactively meeting local healthcare needs with a dedicated focus on high-quality care and excellent patient outcomes.”

In addition to the crisis stabilization unit, the behavioral health hospital will serve as the first point of evaluation and care, providing initial emergent evaluations for individuals in the community going through a behavioral health crisis. Patients experiencing mental health emergencies will receive emergent evaluation and intensive stabilization with an immediate assessment to determine the safest treatment plan beyond the initial crisis. The behavioral health hospital will also collaborate with private practice physicians to provide services to members of the community seeking care. 

“At Palomar Health, we’re committed to delivering the highest quality medical care while listening and responding to the needs of the community. We’re so excited to announce this new partnership, which will help leverage the District’s geographic presence to a regional level, enabling us to offer more care to the people who need it,” says Sheila Brown, Chief Operations Officer at Palomar Health. 

Palomar Health’s team of world-class physicians, nurses, technicians and team members all share the common goal of making the patient experience extraordinary and leading healthcare into the future. For more information on Palomar Health, please visit  


About Palomar Health
Established in 1948, the award-winning team at Palomar Health provides the most comprehensive healthcare in North San Diego County through its two medical centers and more than 900 affiliated medical providers serving more than half a million people. Palomar Health is San Diego County’s only member of the Mayo Clinic Care Network and is nationally recognized: for operating one of America’s 250 Best Hospitals; as a Best 100 Hospital for joint replacement and orthopedic surgery; as a Best Hospital for stroke care, heart care and bariatric surgery; a Diabetes and Stroke Center of Excellence; and as a Blue Distinction Center for spine surgery, cardiac care and maternity.

Through its network of providers, Palomar Health offers medical services in virtually all fields of medicine, including primary care, cardiovascular care, emergency services, trauma, cancer, orthopedics, women’s health, behavioral health, rehabilitation, and robotic and bariatric surgery at offices strategically located throughout the North San Diego County region. For more information, please visit

About Kindred Behavioral Health
Kindred Behavioral Health Services (KBH) helps partner hospitals expand access to quality behavioral health services in local communities nationwide through contract management and joint-venture partnerships. We specialize in compassionate patient care across the behavioral health care continuum, including acute inpatient treatment, partial hospitalization, and intensive outpatient programs. Kindred Behavioral Health offers quality programs specifically designed to address the needs of various patient populations, including adults, adolescents, and seniors. KBH is part of LifePoint Health, a leader in community-based healthcare that serves patients and providers across the healthcare continuum.

About LifePoint Health
LifePoint Health is a leader in community-based healthcare that serves patients and providers across the healthcare continuum. Driven by a mission of Making Communities Healthier, the company has a growing diversified healthcare delivery network comprised of 63 community hospital campuses, more than 30 rehabilitation and behavioral health hospitals, and more than 170 additional sites of care, including acute rehabilitation units, outpatient centers, and post-acute care facilities. Its 50,000 dedicated employees are leading innovations in care across 29 states. More information about LifePoint can be found at

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