St. John Health System Brighton Hospital Signs Letter of Intent to Assist Saudi Arabia in Developing New Addiction Treatment Hospital in Riyadh
Brighton Hospital, the second-oldest alcohol and drug treatment provider in North America, has signed a letter of intent to begin a long-term management contract with a Saudi Arabian company to build a 291,000 square-foot, 250 bed addiction treatment facility in Riyadh, to serve the entire Islamic Mideast.
Brighton Hospital, the Addiction Treatment Center of Excellence within Ascension Health, the largest US faith-based health system, was chosen after a nine-month international search that included several other larger and more well-known addiction treatment hospitals in the U.S., Asia and Europe. "Brighton Hospital was chosen due to its expertise, high success rate, clinical care model and 12-step approach," explains Mohammed Al-Turaiki, CEO of Saudi Care for Rehabilitation and Health Care and world-renowned bioengineer, inventor, human rights advocate and rehabilitation specialist.
"We are so impressed with Brighton and want to involve them in every step in this project," said Al-Turaiki, who also serves as president of the Islamic World Council on Disability and Rehabilitation. "Our contract with Brighton Hospital will cover consulting, management, recruiting, technology transfer and clinical services."
According to Denise Bertin-Epp, President and Chief Nursing Officer of Brighton Hospital, another deciding factor for Al-Turaiki was Brighton Hospital's proprietary electronic behavioral health record technology, developed with New Jersey-based Medical Communication Systems. Brighton developed this specialty software four years ago to increase efficiencies for the medical and nursing staff which would ultimately provide greater benefits to patients with addiction, psychiatric, or dual diagnoses in their immediate and ongoing recovery.
Design and construction on the tentatively named Saudi Care Brighton Hospital is expected to begin later this year after Brighton Hospital officials review and provide guidance to the architecture and design plans. The investment for this new facility is an estimated $60 million US and will feature 230 general inpatient beds, 20 intensive care beds and an emergency department. Future developments in Saudi Arabia may include regionally distributed, addiction and mental health and medical clinics following the completion of the central facility outside of Riyadh.
Bertin-Epp says that signing the letter of intent is just the first step in the due diligence process. "We will visit Saudi Arabia in a few months to make sure it is mutually beneficial. However, at this point we are quite encouraged with this collaboration. This will provide an opportunity to extend our expertise to countries in that region of the world that need addiction care."
Over the past decade, the numbers of Saudis and Muslims in the Gulf region who have become addicted to illicit drugs, narcotics and alcohol has tripled, says Al-Turaiki. "It has become a serious problem, and the demand for a facility like this to serve the Islamic world as a whole is very great. We are happy that Brighton Hospital will be our strategic partner and will help us build five other satellite facilities once this addiction hospital comes on line."