BayCare to Open Region's First Behavioral Health Urgent Care

January 17, 2024
Woman with long dark hair stands in a room surrounded with boxes.
Tracey Kaly envisions this storage space transformed into a calming space for patients at BayCare's behavioral health urgent care slated to open later this year.


BayCare Health System, the region’s leading provider of behavioral health services, is launching another innovation to help address West Central Florida’s mental health needs: The region’s first behavioral health urgent care center.

Similar to a typical urgent care center, the behavioral health urgent care center will allow individuals to schedule a same-day appointment or simply walk in and be seen. BayCare’s professionals will provide mental health and addiction screening and assessment for each person to provide the appropriate care for all levels of needs.

The concept, more than a year in the planning, was embraced last week by the Pasco County Commission, which awarded BayCare the largest share of its opioid settlement money: $3.6 million over three years. The funds will be used to renovate an existing building in Pasco County for the center and begin operation.


A woman with long dark hair stands in front of an older building on a sunny day.
Tracey Kaly stands in front of the building that will be renovated to become BayCare's behavioral health urgent care.


“We know, every day, there are mental health needs in our communities that aren’t getting addressed," said Tracey Kaly, director of ambulatory clinical operations for BayCare Behavioral Health, and one of the BayCare leaders who helped design the project. "We also know there can be confusion about how to even start getting help. An urgent care center for behavioral health will provide a place for individuals to go to access urgent referrals or receive follow-up referrals after an inpatient hospital stay."

The urgent care center will be located next to existing BayCare Behavioral Health buildings on King Helie Boulevard in New Port Richey that house inpatient detoxification and withdrawal management services. The campus also has outpatient offices that provide a comprehensive array of services, including medication-assisted treatment, peer specialists and care navigation. 

“The urgent care will fill the in-between space,” Kaly explained. “It can help individuals who aren’t sure what they need. They may need to simply talk with someone. They may have suicidal thoughts. They may need detoxification services. We will help them figure out what they need and immediately connect them to those services.”

The Pasco County Commission investment stems from the $8 million settlement money it received from the state of Florida as part of a legal action against opioid manufacturers and distributors. Eight other organizations in Pasco County also received funds for programs to help address needs arising from opioid use.

“Pasco County continues to have opioid overdose numbers that are higher than the state average. We believe this new level of care will help fight this epidemic,” Kaly added. 

A blue directional sign in a parking lot with cars and other buildings.
BayCare's behavioral health urgent care will be located in New Port Richey adjacent to buildings housing other behavioral health services.


Kaly expects the building to open in December. She and others have been meeting with architects and have renderings of what the building, currently being used by facilities for storage and offices, will soon become. Plans include a welcoming lobby, a comfort room with recliners for people to relax, therapist offices and physician offices.

To ensure the urgent care center is meeting the needs of as many community members as possible, BayCare Behavioral Health will continue to collaborate with its many partners, including the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office and the Pasco County Alliance for Substance Abuse Prevention.

The funds will be released over three years, with the first year going toward construction and the next two to meet operational needs. The settlement requires the pharmaceutical distributors to make payments to the state for 18 years. BayCare will continue to evaluate needs and may apply for future funding for this, and other projects, as needed.



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