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Section: News



LUBBOCK, TX- Covenant Health, in partnership with the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center (TTUHSC) School of Medicine Department of Psychiatry, will transition all inpatient adult behavioral health services to StarCare Specialty Health System effective November 15, 2021.

Covenant Health’s mission is to care for all people, especially the poor and vulnerable. We share this mission with both TTUHSC and StarCare.

In the past, Covenant and TTUHSC have partnered to provide inpatient and outpatient services for adult behavioral health patients. After evaluating our community’s needs, it was decided to close Covenant Health’s inpatient behavioral health center and transition these services under the leadership of StarCare.

“We are blessed to live in a community that recognizes the behavioral health gaps and addresses them, ensuring those patients will receive optimal care for their body, mind, and spirit,” Covenant Children’s CEO Dr. Amy Thompson said. “We are confident in the abilities of the StarCare team and believe our patients and community are best served under their leadership.”

With this new approach, we hope to eliminate any duplication of services and instead partner with organizations that can provide a comprehensive approach to adult behavioral health care. StarCare has more than 50 years of focused experience in behavioral health. StarCare’s Sunrise Canyon Hospital is a one-of-a-kind community-based 30-bed inpatient psychiatric hospital that cares for patients ages 18 and over. Covenant Health will make a significant investment in supporting StarCare’s expanded services.

“StarCare Specialty Health System is extremely honored Covenant Health and Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center have chosen to partner with us as we care for adults experiencing mental health distress,” StarCare Specialty Health System CEO Beth Lawson said. “Sunrise Canyon Hospital is literally a one-of-a-kind community-based, publicly-funded inpatient psychiatric hospital that specializes in delivering high-quality psychiatric care close to home. This new partnership will streamline care for adults, avoid duplication of services, and offer an enriched training ground for psychiatric residents. Personally, I could not be more pleased with this collaboration and the coordination of care that is sure to result.”

Together, Covenant, TTUHSC, and StarCare are part of the larger West Texas Mental Health Collaborative- six community-focused organizations working to provide better resources and services to those in our community in need of specialized mental health care.

Through collaborative state support and local partnerships, TTUHSC has become a leader in psychiatry training and patient services that advance mental health care and strive to meet the shortage of psychiatrists across our state and nation.

With Sarah Mallard Wakefield, M.D. and her team of residents, fellows, and students, TTUHSC has created a critical collaboration with Covenant Health to help meet specific behavioral health needs of Lubbock and the surrounding area while supporting the education of tomorrow’s psychiatrists. TTUHSC will focus on supporting services at StarCare.

“The Department of Psychiatry is grateful to Covenant Health System and StarCare Specialty Health System for the opportunity to work together to provide optimal inpatient psychiatric care for patients in our region,” Chair of the TTUHSC Department of Psychiatry Dr. Sarah Mallard Wakefield said. “Through this collaboration, our faculty and residents will be able to offer an academic lens to the wide breadth of services offered at Sunrise Canyon and be better able to support the great mission of the public mental health system at a time when it is needed more than ever.”

Moving forward, Covenant Children’s will focus on expanding intensive outpatient behavioral care for our pediatric and adolescent population. More information on this expansion will follow in the upcoming months.

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