Behavioral Health Facility Consulting, LLC was founded in November of 2007 with the primary objective of assisting psychiatric hospitals, behavioral health facilities and other organizations providing treatment for the mentally ill with developing safe, healing therapeutic environments for their patients and clients. Careful consideration is given to staff safety and providing a workplace where they will feel safe and will result in assisting with recruitment and retention of high quality personnel. Additionally, the organization is committed to increasing the awareness of facilities and designers regarding the current design trends and latest products that have been developed which are safer to use in these environments.
BHFC’s founder and President is James M. Hunt, is a licensed architect with over 40 years of experience including 30 years of working with behavioral health care facilities. Twenty of those years (1981-2001) were as the Director of Facilities Management for the Menninger Clinic, a world renowned private mental health organization. This provided him the unique opportunity to understand the day-to-day operation and management of these facilities. It also allows him to assure that communication between the organization’s clinical, facility and administrative staff and the design team is fully understood and helps provide a finished project that is an accurate reflection of the facility’s requirements.
Kimberly McMurray, AIA, EDAC, MBA is Vice President of BHFC. Together, they have participated in the design and construction of 35 behavioral health care facilities in 20 states plus three projects in British Columbia, Canada. These projects have a combined total of over 2,000 patient beds and a total construction cost of over $700 million. In addition to these construction projects, 57 facilities in 25 states have been visited and Patient and Staff Safety Reviews conducted to identify potential hazards in existing units and to provide assistance with resolving these issues with cost effective solutions that both increase safety and reduce the institutional appearance of the patients’ environment.
This extensive experience has provided the opportunity to see things done well many different ways and things done poorly many different ways. BHFC will not bring a one-size-fits-all solution to this project. Numerous items and conditions will be identified as issues to be explored. Then several solutions will be presented to each situation along with the strengths and weaknesses of each solution so the Client can make informed decisions. Every project is unique and the completed facility will reflect the specific requirements and features necessary for the patient populations served and the organization’s needs.
The company objective to increase the awareness of facilities and designers regarding the current design trends and latest products had been addressed by publishing white papers in peer reviewed journals, writing articles in trade magazines, speaking at international, national and state behavioral health care conferences. Mr. Hunt also is the co-author of the “Behavioral Health Design Guide that has been continuously published on-line since 2003 19 times, the latest in February of 2018. It is now available free of charge at www.bhfcllc.com. In addition, numerous manufacturers seek their advice on how to improve products for this market. No compensation is ever accepted for these consultations, any products listed in the Design Guide or recommended to clients.
Mr. Hunt was invited to participate in an Expert Panel assembled by The Joint Commission and CMS to address ligature attachment risk issues that have been major issues throughout 2017 and this emphasis and participation will continue in 2018.
BHFC remains committed to improving the built environment for mentally ill patients and the staff that assist them as well as striving to expand the knowledge of how to design buildings and develop products that will enhance the experience for all who come in contact with these facilities. We continually strive to live up to the words of Swedish architect Stefan Lundin in his book Architecture as Medicine,
“OK, so you’re ill and may not always be on your best behaviour, but help and sympathy are forthcoming from those of us who, for the moment at least, are better off.”
BHFC is always ready to help you discover the answers that are best for you, your patients, and your organization.