McLaren Northern Michigan to build an inpatient behavioral health unit and partial hospitalization program in Cheboygan

McLaren Northern Michigan is addressing the need for behavioral health services in our region by developing the Justin A. Borra Behavioral Health Center. Thanks to funding from the State of Michigan and generous donors, plans are moving forward to renovate the McLaren Northern Michigan Cheboygan Campus to house a new 16-bed adult inpatient behavioral health unit and partial hospitalization program.

McLaren Northern Michigan Cheboygan Campus

These new behavioral health services will offer a continuum of care to help address the local and regional behavioral health crisis. In 2020, McLaren Northern Michigan’s two Emergency Departments saw 892 behavioral health patients. Every day, at least two of these patients need to be transferred to an inpatient facility but must remain in the ED because an inpatient mental health placement is not available in the state. Some patients wait days or even weeks before they can be placed. The entire state of Michigan has just over 3,000 licensed psychiatric inpatient beds—with only 35 licensed adult beds in the 22 counties that McLaren Northern Michigan serves. 

The shortage of behavioral health resources is a national issue

“The shortage of behavioral health resources is a national issue, and the pandemic has exacerbated the need for inpatient services,” explained Todd Burch, President and CEO of McLaren Northern Michigan. “With so few beds in Northern Michigan, patients who need inpatient behavioral health services are often being sent to hospitals several hundred miles away. This new facility will help address the growing unmet need for high-quality behavioral health services right here in our community.”

McLaren’s plan for behavioral health services was developed with input from law enforcement, community mental health agencies, care providers and physicians. 

This week McLaren will begin renovations of the former Cheboygan Campus medical surgical unit to create the 16-bed Pulte Family Foundation Adult Inpatient Behavioral Health Unit. Slated to open in late 2022, the renovated 11,000 square foot unit will offer a healing environment for individuals experiencing mental health related disorders, including depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder and thought disorders such as schizophrenia. 

Another component of the plan is the development of the McDonald Partial Hospitalization Program. This day program provides intervention to prevent inpatient psychiatric hospitalization and provides a transition for patients stepping down from 24-hour inpatient care. Partial hospitalization is a structured mental health treatment program that runs for six to eight hours a day, five days per week. Patients participate in the scheduled treatment sessions during the day and return home at night.

Additionally, the McLaren staff psychiatrists will open outpatient offices in the Medical Office Building on the Cheboygan campus. 

McLaren Northern Michigan has received a $3 million State of Michigan Enhancement Grant to support facility renovations on the Cheboygan campus for the inpatient behavioral health unit. Generous donors have come forward with an additional $4.3 million to date with lead gifts from Pier and Renee Borra, The Pulte Family Foundation and Patrick H. McDonald.

“We are so grateful to these and other donors who have stepped up to support this important project,” said Julie Jarema, Chief Philanthropy Officer, McLaren Northern Michigan Foundation. “Our community will be better served because of their generosity.” 

Lead donors Pier and Renee Borra of the Borra Family Foundation said, “We are pleased to be part of this important project that will make a positive difference in the lives of people with behavioral health issues."

Another major donor Patrick H. McDonald stated: "For me, it is a privilege to be a contributor to the Justin A. Borra Behavioral Health Center. I empathize with the many that agonize in the suffering of mental illness. I pray that with the Pulte Family Foundation inpatient unit and the McDonald Partial Hospitalization Program, these essential programs will be a welcoming place, providing much-needed understanding, compassion and relief."

Donor Nancy Pulte Rickard, president of the Pulte Family Foundation, added: "Our family, like so many other families, has been impacted by mental illness. Our Founder William J. (Bill) Pulte would have been proud of the decision made by the Pulte Family Foundation Board to make this contribution to the Adult Inpatient Behavioral Health Unit at McLaren Northern Michigan. Our father created tremendous goodwill through the business he founded, Pulte Homes, which grew into a Fortune 500 company. The Foundation is committed to giving back nationwide to states and communities that have supported Pulte Homes over the last sixty-plus years. We hope that through the Pulte name, the Foundation can be a catalyst to others who want to help break the stigma of mental illness by shining a light on the topic. We see this contribution as an important means of continuing Bill's legacy, as well as of honoring all who are suffering, or have suffered, from mental illness."

The McLaren Northern Michigan Foundation is continuing to seek support for the behavioral health program. For more information or to donate to the behavioral health project, go to

About McLaren Northern Michigan 

McLaren Northern Michigan, a subsidiary of McLaren Health Care, is a 202-bed, regional referral center located in Petoskey, serving residents in 22 counties across northern lower Michigan and the eastern part of the Upper Peninsula. Over 230 physicians represent nearly all medical and surgical specialties, enabling full-service care with an emphasis on heart, cancer, orthopedics, and neurosciences services. For additional information, visit 

McLaren Northern Michigan Foundation

The mission of McLaren Northern Michigan Foundation is to receive and administer funds to support the mission of McLaren Northern Michigan and support programs that enhance the well-being of the community. To learn more about the Foundation, or to provide a gift in support of their efforts, call 231-487-3500 or visit