Construction has started on a new hospital in Bettendorf for people with mental health and drug abuse problems. Officials of a Tennessee company, Strategic Behavioral Health, broke ground Thursday afternoon on Tanglefoot Lane, between I-74 and Utica Ridge Road.
Company founder and President Jim Shaheen says Strategic Behavioral health now has 10 hospitals and is treating about 30 thousand patients. He says he started the company because he wanted to help people.
"This patient population has been marginalized, has been not taken care of in the way in which they should be. And so the more people that understand this patient population, the more people will begin to accept mental illness for what it is - an illness. Not a character flow - an illness."
A long time supporter of the project is Bettendorf Police Chief Phil Redington who has been working with the company since it first came to the Quad Cities three years ago.
"I can honestly say that almost every day we see someone who needs our services, not necessarily from the law enforcement side - from the medical, mental health, and drug abuse side."
The new hospital, to be known as Eagle View Behavioral Health, will cost about 15 million dollars and will take up to a year and a half to complete.
Strategic Behavioral Health has hospitals in six other states.