Be Well OC Breaks Ground on First Mental Health and Wellness Campus in Orange County

Be Well OC Campus is the First Physical Manifestation of Mental Healthcare Systems Change in Orange County

Be Well OC partners including representatives from Mind OC, the Orange County Board of Supervisors, OC Health Care Agency, CalOptima, Hoag Memorial Hospital Presbyterian, Kaiser Permanente Orange County, Providence St. Joseph Health (St. Joseph Hospital and St. Jude Medical Center) and Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg, author of Prop. 63 and co-chair of the Governor’s Statewide Task Force on Homelessness, celebrate the groundbreaking of the first Be Well OC Campus in Orange, Calif. (Photo Credit: Be Well OC / Susan Goldman)

ORANGE, Calif.--()--Today, representatives from across the state of California, County of Orange (OC), the City of Orange, CalOptima, and local non-profit hospital systems came together to celebrate the groundbreaking of the first Be Well OC Campus at 265 Anita Drive, Orange, Calif.

“Today marks a momentous occasion in Orange County’s history as we celebrate the public-private partnership between the County of Orange and our healthcare partners,” said Orange County Board of Supervisors Chairwoman Lisa Bartlett, Fifth District.

The new 60,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art facility set for completion in the Fall of 2020 will offer best-in-class mental health and substance use disorder (SUD) treatment programs available to all residents, regardless of payer. Service elements will include triage, psychiatric intake and referral, SUD intake and referral, withdrawal management, transitional residential, residential treatment and an integrated support center.

“Having access to mental health services for all of our County’s citizens is critical, and so is collaboration between healthcare providers,” said Orange County Board of Supervisors Vice Chair Michelle Steel, Second District. “The progress we are making here is one significant part of the many projects we are working on countywide to improve access to mental health services.”

This first of three Be Well OC campuses marks the initial physical manifestation of the broader Be Well OC initiative. The initiative is the first of its kind in the state of California to leverage the best-in-class capabilities of public, private, academic, faith-based entities, and others, to create a coordinated system of care to solve this pervasive mental healthcare challenge. Currently, more than 100 organizations play a role in the Be Well ecosystem.

“For too long, Orange County has lacked the resources to treat mental health problems, psychiatric emergencies and substance abuse disorders,” said Orange County Board Supervisor Andrew Do, First District, who has made improving the county’s mental health care one of his top priorities on the Board of Supervisors. “This facility will support all Orange County patients and families struggling with mental illness by getting them the care they need.”

Supervisor Do added that the facility is an integral component in the county’s plan to combat homelessness. “There’s no doubt that our state’s lack of mental health treatment facilities has exacerbated our state’s homeless crisis. This mental health facility is another important component in our effort to address homelessness.”

The Orange County Board of Supervisors (OCBOS) committed $16.6 million for the development of the campus, in addition to investments from CalOptima, Kaiser Permanente, Hoag and Providence St. Joseph Health (St. Jude Medical Center and St. Joseph Hospital). The projected cost for the campus is $40 million.

“It is an honor to hold the first Be Well facility in my district, providing life-changing services for citizens and their families who are in need of mental health care,” said Orange County Supervisor Donald P. Wagner, Third District.

“The citizens of Orange County will benefit from Be Well OC and all the mental health services that will be provided,” said Orange County Supervisor Doug Chaffee, Fourth District.

Additional Stakeholder Quotes:

“As Orange County’s community-based Medi-Cal plan, CalOptima is pleased to partner on this coordinated approach to mental health care that removes barriers and brings together the full range of services. Our Board of Directors’ commitment to the Be Well movement is driven by unprecedented access to services for vulnerable Medi-Cal members who face very real challenges with transportation, language and more. The mental health care campus will make it easier for our members to get help,” said Michael Schrader, CEO, CalOptima.

“Hoag is a proud partner in this innovative and vital initiative for Orange County, which will break down barriers for so many in need of behavioral health care. The Be Well OC campus will become an invaluable resource for Orange County residents, and a model for other communities across the state and country to replicate,” said Robert T. Braithwaite, president and CEO, Hoag Memorial Hospital Presbyterian.

“Kaiser Permanente is proud of our involvement in this exceptional project. This facility is a testament to the care and concern of partners within healthcare, government, faith-based, and business organizations – a true public-private partnership. I am excited that this facility will address a critical health care need of so many Orange County residents. It will serve as a beacon of hope to all that come through its doors,” said Mark Costa, senior vice president, Kaiser Permanente Orange County.

“Be Well OC is a model of what our communities can do when we bring together our expertise, resources and commitment to better the lives of our neighbors. Shining a light on the needs of those with mental illness will advance treatment, influence innovation and help erase the stigma. We are very honored to be a part of this endeavor,” said Erik G. Wexler, chief executive, Providence St. Joseph Health, Southern California.

“Today marks a significant milestone and while progress has been made, challenges persist. Collaboration and partnerships are key to advancing mental health care and support. By working together, we can create a coordinated system that supports individuals facing the challenges of mental health and substance abuse,” said Brian Helleland, chief executive, St. Jude Medical Center.

“Be Well OC closes a gap in mental health treatment in Orange County. This facility serves an important role in broadening the resources available for mental health care in Orange County and enables more patients with mental health disorders and substance abuse issues access to treatment and care. This robust collaboration is a prime example of what can be achieved when we work together to serve those among us who need this care the most,” said Jeremy Zoch, chief executive, St. Joseph Hospital, Orange.

“As California faces a crisis of homelessness and untreated mental illness, it is incredible to see so many dedicated public and private partners working together to develop a facility that offers access to comprehensive services for mental health, substance abuse and residential treatment. These are exactly the types of innovative and collaborative efforts we hoped to catalyze when we passed the Mental Health Services Act,” said Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg, author of Prop. 63 and co-chair of the Governor's Statewide Task Force on Homelessness.

“Orange is proud to stand alongside the County of Orange, our partner Orange County cities, and the many hospitals and non-profit stakeholders that made the Be Well OC Campus possible. The services provided by Be Well OC Orange Campus will be a significant step forward in helping to break the cycle of mental illness, drug addiction, and displacement that many homeless citizens suffer,” said Mayor Mark Murphy of the City of Orange.

“The integration of mental health and substance abuse services in a central, easily accessible location, like the Be Well OC Campus, is critical. Coordination in care and operational synergy among services improves the experience of both the patient and the provider. In addition, co-locating social support services with clinical care honors whole-person needs and a whole-systems approach, in order to meet the ultimate goal: improving the mental and emotional wellbeing of the Orange County community,” said Dr. Richard Afable, president and board chair, MindOC, immediate past chair, California Hospital Association.


The vision of Be Well OC is to lead the nation in optimal mental health and wellness for all residents of Orange County. Be Well OC brings together a robust, community-based, cross-sector strategy – public, private, academic, faith-based and others – to create a community-wide coordinated ecosystem to support optimal mental health. For more information visit


Calla Nelson

Release Summary

Be Well OC breaks ground on the first mental health and wellness campus in Orange County, Calif.


Calla Nelson