Joseph Simone of Simone Development Companies says that the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ (CMS) focus on behavioral health will drive the design of new healthcare facilities.

“There is a growing understanding about the relationship between mental health and physical health, which is causing these two disciplines to converge at primary care facilities,” said Joe Simone, President of Simone Development Companies. “This growing combination of mental and physical practitioners in one location challenges healthcare real estate builders to create spaces that foster relaxation and psychological wellness for patients and healthcare workers.”

Earlier this year, CMS outlined its behavioral health strategy that included access to prevention and treatment services for substance abuse, mental health services, crisis intervention and pain care. The agency’s goal is to enable care that is well-coordinated and effectively integrated.

Healthcare real estate developers must now consider medical offices with deinstitutionalized environments that are homelike with access to daylight, the outdoors, and positive distractions.

Simone Development Companies’ development of medical offices at the Boyce Thompson Center in Yonkers, N.Y. anticipated this deinstitutionalization. Waiting rooms are relaxing spaces in a historic building adaptively reused for restaurants, retail and medical. The Boyce Thompson Center’s design allowed one tenant—WESTMED, a Summit Health Company—to offer behavioral health services.

“Behavioral health challenges medical builders to consider psychology and mental wellness in their projects,” said Joanna Simone, Principal and President of Leasing and Property Management Operations at Simone Development Companies. “The successful delivery of behavioral health services at our Boyce Thompson Center demonstrates that thoughtful and compassionate builders can create safe spaces that calm and reassure vulnerable patients.”

Simone Development Companies is a full-service real estate investment company specializing in the acquisition and development of healthcare, mixed-use, office, industrial, retail, and residential properties. Headquartered at the Hutchinson Metro Center, it boasts a portfolio of over 7 million square feet throughout the Bronx, Manhattan, Queens, Long Island, Westchester County, Orange and Fairfield Counties and New Jersey. With services spanning acquisition, development, construction, finance, asset management, accounting, leasing and property management, Simone Development Companies is set apart by its vertically integrated management team, long-term asset ownership and its pursuit of visionary development.