Supervisors approve expansion at AV Health Center

LANCASTER – Los Angeles County supervisors authorized a $14.3 million contract to expand mental health services at the county’s High Desert Regional Health Center.

Authorized Tuesday in a vote at the Board of Supervisors meeting in Los Angeles, the contract will pay for construction of a 9,900-square-foot 24-hour mental health urgent care building adjoining the five-year-old county health center in central Lancaster, providing services for Antelope Valley patients who now must travel to the county’s Olive View-UCLA Medical Center in Sylmar.

“It’s a necessity that Antelope Valley residents get the services they need near home, without making them travel hours for care,” said Supervisor Kathryn Barger, who pushed for creation of the new facility. “The urgent care center will offer services that Antelope Valley healthcare professionals have long asked for locally. It’s imperative the county continue to enhance resources in the Antelope Valley.”

The urgent care building, which will be built east of the 142,000-square-foot health center that opened in 2014, will be open around the clock and will offer mental health services to adults, children and adolescents including diagnosis, evaluation, treatment, referrals, consultation, community services, crisis intervention/stabilization, medication support, and case management, county officials said.

Community members can learn about plans for the new services at an informational meeting at 7 p.m. Dec. 11 at High Desert Regional Health Center, 335 East Ave. I.

Ground is expected to be broken for the new building in January 2020. Completion is expected by September 2020.

The center will be designed and built by Penta Building Group, which has offices and operations in Las Vegas, Phoenix, Los Angeles, Palm Springs and Reno. Operated by the Los Angeles County Department of Health Services, High Desert Regional Health Center offers primary medical care clinics, outpatient surgery, a range of specialty clinics and urgent care services. The 15-acre campus was built to provide a more central location and more modern facilities, replacing aging offices that were part of the former High Desert Hospital built in 1962 in west Lancaster.

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