MercyOne North Iowa Medical Center

Behavioral Health Unit Expansion and Renovation

The main entry to the MercyOne North Iowa behavioral health unit at dusk
People interact at the drop-in outpatient behavioral health resources center
A yellow-themed behavioral health unit with comfortable furniture and clear sightlines
Two nurses hold a discussion at the wood-toned behavioral health unit nurse station
A community space with comfortable furniture in the behavioral health unit
A standard private patient room with one bed and one bathroom in the behavioral health unit
A classroom/dining room for patients in the behavioral health unit with expansive views to nature

MercyOne North Iowa Medical Center

Behavioral Health Unit Expansion and Renovation

Mason City, Iowa

A two-story addition houses 34 beds for behavioral health inpatients and a renovation in an adjacent hospital area expands services. The program includes acute psychiatric care, separate adult and adolescent inpatient units, and partial hospitalization/intensive outpatient services. After the new units became operational, the center reported a 75% reduction in staff injuries.

The aesthetics are welcoming, calming, and designed to fit comfortably into the surrounding residential neighborhood. From the front door to assessment and treatment, all spaces are bright, open, and safe. The donor-funded Jan Again Center for Hope and Safety offers walk-in help and reduces the stigma surrounding mental health. Visitors can drop in for consultation, either with on-site staff or by using online resources available at a computer station.

BWBR served as the design architect in partnership with local firm of record RDG.

Size: 28,500 gross sq. ft. addition; 6,070 gross sq. ft. renovation

Components: Addition that houses 34 inpatient behavioral health beds, including adult, adolescent, and acute psychiatric care units; Jan Again Center for Hope and Safety walk-in help resources; group therapy room/classroom that doubles as a dining room; sensory rooms; outpatient meeting and research spaces

Completion: 2019

Rick Dahl (retired)
Don Thomas (retired)
Melanie Baumhover
Scott Holmes
Chris Fischer
Kevin Gamelin
Amy Kotchevar
Inga Oelschlager (retired)