KINGSTON, LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — A new behavioral health hospital in Luzerne County is now open.

Officials say it’s ready to serve the community. The Wyoming Valley Behavioral Hospital began accepting patients on Monday.

Our cameras captured exclusive footage inside the facility and 28/22 News spoke with the CEO and the local state representative who helped make it happen.

Take a look inside the Wyoming Valley Behavioral Hospital on Wyoming Avenue in Kingston.
Located at the site of the former First Hospital, the new and improved facility provides psychiatric services for adults.

“We want to make sure anyone coming here in for service, they walk out feeling hopeful, that the future is better for them, that they get relief from the suffering they’ve had,” said James Davis, CEO, of Wyoming Valley Behavioral Hospital.

The First Hospital closed in October 2022 after staffing shortages and a riot involving patients. State Representative Aaron Kaufer dedicated the past year to advocating for change and bringing mental health services back to the Wyoming Valley.

“Just because this place has been shut down for roughly a year, the demand and need hasn’t gone away. So, the fact that this is here is huge for the community because the need is certainly here for the Northeastern Pennsylvania residents,” said Rep. Aaron Kaufer, (r) 120th district.

The hospital is currently licensed to open with 12 beds and plans to expand to nearly 150 in the future. When fully operational, it’s projected to employ up to 300 workers.

“people needing inpatient care had to travel as far away as Philadelphia or Pittsburgh and that doesn’t work, we know that doesn’t work. People have to stay near home so everybody’s excited to be able to help people locally,” Davis added.

Kaufer says opening the hospital wouldn’t have been possible without community partners like FNCB Bank.

“They worked extensively with Jim and his team to make this happen, it has been nothing short of a miracle to get this place open,” Kaufer continued.

The Wyoming Valley Behavioral Hospital is accepting new patients. For more information visit their website.