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Burrell plans to build $2M clinic in Marshfield

Staff and services will expand with replacement of existing facility

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Burrell Behavioral Health broke ground Oct. 27 on a roughly $2 million clinic in Marshfield that will replace a facility in the Webster County city. 

County and state officials joined Burrell leadership in Marshfield for the groundbreaking ceremony at 1069 Banning St., the future site of the 5,000-square-foot clinic, according to a news release.

State funding through the Department of Mental Health is accounting for half of the investment in the behavioral health clinic, with Burrell providing the remainder, said Clay Goddard, president of Burrell’s southwest region.

Burrell currently operates a clinic in Marshfield at 1350 Spur Dr., Ste. 230, where it offers addiction recovery services, adult and youth outpatient, adult and youth psychiatry, and telehealth services. Officials say the new location, located near Interstate 44, will boost accessibility to the communities it serves and be bigger in both size and scope than the current facility, which is less than a mile away. 

Goddard said Burrell has operated its Marshfield clinic for around 10 years in roughly 1,500 square feet. The new project is a testament, he said, to Burrell’s commitment to establish permanent roots in Webster County, adding it could not come at a more crucial juncture.

“There’s just this pain point around rural health care,” he said. “In this case, behavioral health certainly is a challenge for rural communities. As we continue to see a post-pandemic echo of a behavioral health crisis, those needs are probably a little more acute.”

Goddard cited results from a 2021 national survey by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, which found that over 1 in 5 adults in rural areas reported having a mental illness. Additionally, 5.1% of adults in nonmetro areas reported having serious thoughts of suicide in the past year, according to the survey.

While the survey noted prevalence of mental illness is similar between rural and urban residents, it reported health care needs are often not met in many rural communities because adequate services are not present.

He also pointed to the recent Ozarks Health Commission Community Health Assessment report, which listed mental health and substance use among the top three public health issues in the Springfield region. The region includes Webster, Christian and Greene counties.

“There’s kind of a broad-based understanding that those are issues we need to be addressing locally,” Goddard said. “It really makes it an easy decision to bolster those services in a community like Marshfield, which is kind of a rural hub in Webster County.”

Added investment
With the expanded space, the Marshfield clinic team is expected to roughly double in size. Elizabeth Avery, Burrell’s southwest region chief operating officer, said the new clinic will bring aboard up to 10 additional employees. The added space and staff will strengthen existing service lines and allow for additional services, such as group therapy, she said, adding hundreds more county residents will be able to access behavioral health care close to home.

“One of the things that we’re really excited about with this new space is the ability to provide therapeutic groups. In our existing space, that’s not possible,” Avery said. “We know that group services are really impactful for individuals who maybe need to go to a support group for a specific need. It also helps address access-related issues.”

Webster County Health Unit Administrator Scott Allen said recognized Burrell’s investment to serve the community and said his department refers patients to Burrell “at least a couple times a week.”

“It takes them out of rented space and has them actually making a firm commitment in the future of the county,” he said. “From a practical standpoint, it’s going to give them a significant amount of increased office space. They’ll also have more space for group therapy sessions, which is a huge deal.”

Group therapy allows participants to learn and share with others who are facing the same behavioral health challenges, Allen said.

“For a lot of folks, it’s been a matter of not having that sort of therapy available or having to travel out of town to get it, which a lot of times can be very restrictive,” he said.

Avery said Burrell’s current Marshfield clinic is at capacity.

“By adding 3,500 square feet, we’ll be able to open up more offices to hire more licensed therapists to serve the community,” she said, noting the additional services helps increase awareness of mental health needs. “You can find yourself in a situation where more people are seeking the services, which is great.”

Officials say the new clinic is expected to be completed in 12 to 18 months. A general contractor is yet to be selected for the project, which is designed by architectural firm Hood-Rich Inc.

Adding investments
The Marshfield groundbreaking is the second local ceremony for the behavioral health provider in as many months. Burrell broke ground Sept. 18 on an estimated $14 million Youth Resiliency Campus in Springfield. The facility will offer a Youth Behavioral Crisis Center for ages 13-17, plus intensive outpatient programs, partial hospitalization and a long-term youth residential facility to treat teens experiencing a mental health or substance-use crisis.

Additionally, Burrell held another groundbreaking ceremony earlier in October for a new clinic in Sedalia and recently transitioned its Rapid Access Unit in Columbia to 24/7 access. The facility, which opened in September 2022, previously operated 12 hours per day, according to media reports.

“There has been significant investment. That shows up in a variety of ways,” Goddard said. “Certainly, there’s hiring staff, but also leveraging technology and brick-and-mortar investment is also a big part of that. We’re really trying to strengthen all areas of our portfolio to better support the communities in which we’re working.”

Whether it’s expanding access in Columbia or investing in new facilities in Marshfield and Sedalia, Burrell officials say boosting behavioral health resources is key to meeting community needs.

“The more we can integrate into the community, the more we can make it convenient, the more likely individuals are to actually come through the doors and show up for that appointment because it is decreasing some of those stressors and barriers to actually accessing it,” Avery said. “It’s safe to say the trend of all these announcements show that we’re constantly looking for ways to further meet the needs of our communities. That work will never stop.”


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