Child Study Treatment Center celebrates opening of San Juan Cottage

Contact: Tyler Hemstreet, DSHS Media Relations, 564–201–0027

tyler.hemstreet@dshs.wa.gov

From left, Facilities, Finance, and Analytics Assistant Secretary Judy Fitzgerald, Child Study and Treatment Center Interim CEO Byron Eagle, CSTC Director of Nursing Erik Logan and Behavioral Health Administration Assistant Secretary Kevin Bovenkamp do a ceremonial ribbon cutting for the San Juan Cottage on Sept. 30.

The Sept. 30 opening of the fourth Child Study and Treatment Center cottage was more than a means to treat more children with severe behavioral needs and disorders.

It was a milestone for Erik Logan, a registered nurse and the hospital’s director of nursing.

Logan studied architecture at the University of Idaho before switching paths and embarking on a 30-year career in behavioral health with the state of Washington. His knowledge of architecture, experience working construction and years working at Western State Hospital and CSTC created a base of knowledge that helped him create the initial design for San Juan Cottage.

Taking part in ribbon-cutting ceremony for the $9.2 million, 16,900-square-foot cottage open was a landmark moment for him.

“This has been a labor of love for me,” Logan said during a tour of the cottage two weeks before the ceremony. “It has been very satisfying to see this project come to fruition. I never thought it would happen for a project of this size.”

San Juan Cottage has 18 beds for youth ages 15–17. The cottage also has a dedicated forensic wing for patients admitted under RCW 10.77. The patients admitted under RCW 10.77 are court-ordered to undergo competency evaluation or competency restoration.

The cottage features wide open milieu areas with open sightlines from the nursing and medication station to both the civil and forensic sides. The milieu features skylights, a low-stimulation suite, and areas for youth interact with each other in a secure setting. All of the features were designed to maximize durability while enhancing the therapeutic atmosphere.

“We tried really hard to make a homey environment but also a durable environment,” Logan said during his remarks to a small crowd at the opening.

Logan began his career in 1991 as a mental health technician at Western State Hospital and went to nursing school before moving over to CSTC 12 years later. His mix of education and professional background, which includes auditing residential treatment facilities under the umbrella of the Health Care Authority’s Children’s Long-Term Inpatient Program and consulting for facilities throughout the nation, informed every aspect of the San Juan Cottage design.

“It really gave me a broad context of what’s out there,” he said. “Between the CLIP facility inspections and working every ward at Western State Hospital, I was able to take some of the great design cues from those areas and omit designs that weren’t as effective.”

CSTC is the only state-run children’s hospital in Washington and has a long waitlist of patients. A fifth cottage is planned to open in the next 10 years, which will increase hospital capacity to about 80 patients.

“Nationally, and in Washington state, there has been a substantial increase in demand for pediatric mental health crisis services, emergency room evaluations and inpatient admissions, which greatly tax current system resources,” Behavioral Health Administration Assistant Secretary Kevin Bovenkamp said in his remarks at the opening. “It is now common in Washington for children to be boarded in emergency rooms for several days waiting for inpatient beds.

“We’re happy to say that the opening of this facility will help lessen that situation.”

Dr. Morgan Costanza is the cottage program director and leads treatment planning, although each youth has a treatment plan that is individualized and includes input from both the patient and their family. The first patients are expected to be admitted in mid-October.

“Our staff ensure that our patients are at the center of their care and they emphasize care that is youth guided and family driven,” Bovenkamp said. “They provide wraparound treatment and services using evidence-based treatments while also providing life and relationship skills development, family, relationship, recreational and other specialized therapies.”

Logan has seen just about everything in his three decades working with patients who have acute behavioral health needs. Sometimes the job is difficult, but it has also been vastly rewarding.

“If you can see one kid that you’ve worked with and made a difference for, it makes it all worth it,” he said.

(By Rob Johnson)​​