Former Helipad Now Outdoor Patio For Behavioral Health Patients At Providence Colby Campus

September 7, 2022


The rooftop patio is 1600 square feet and offers views of the water mountains and city.

The view of Port Gardner Bay.

A mural full of color and whimsy sits at one end below the new helipad.

Mount Baker can be seen in the distance to the north.

This plaque sits at the entrance to the patio.

About a year ago Providence Regional Medical Center opened a state of the art in-patient behavioral health unit at their Colby Campus in Everett, Washington.

This week an addition to that unit, an enclosed rooftop patio located at the site of a former helipad, will open to enhance dignity and provide emotional well-being for patients who may be staying as long as six months at the hospital for mental health treatment.

“This provides a break from the hospital setting and a chance to get outside in the fresh air and sunshine while staying in a safe environment,” said Laura Knapp, director of Behavioral Health at Providence Colby Campus.

“We knew from the time we were planning the in-patient unit that we also had to have an outdoor space,” Knapp told us today. “We looked at ground level locations and then came upon this solution.”

Pete Smeltz is the Facilities Engineering Manager at Providence Regional Medical Center Everett. “We looked at the possibilities and came up with new ways to think about designing the space.”

Safety for the patients and staff and trauma informed care led the planning. The project took more than 18 months.

The former helipad has now been transformed into a 1,600-square-foot outdoor patio with an enclosed safe space offering art, and stunning views.

The patio is funded by philanthropy and cost more than $700,000.

The main funder, the Raynier Institute & Foundation, donated $630,000 and Providence Medical Staff donated an additional $100,000 to Providence General Foundation, which made this investment for patients here in Everett, Washington a reality.

Casey Calamusa, Director of Communications at Providence explained in an email the story of how the patio got its name.

It’s been named the Lapis Rooftop Patio. The main funder ($630,000) of the Rooftop Patio is the Raynier Foundation—Founded by James Widener Ray. His story is very interesting, as you can see in this link. James was an eclectic man who struggled with mental health issues, and also loved beauty, art, music—and bringing joy to others, especially those in need. The idea of bringing color and whimsy to the patio was part of Raynier’s contribution to the project! He loved lapis lazuli, and that is why those colors are a part of the design, and why the patio has that in its name.

The space is made with similar safe and secure materials used at the in-patient behavioral health unit on the 4th floor. The walls are high and made of non-scalable material. There are rollers to prohibit access over the top. Patients will never be without staff in the space.

The 24-bed mental health facility is at capacity. The new space with outdoor access and stunning views of Port Gardner Bay, the mountains and city is expected to enhance the healing process for patients receiving care.

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My Everett News is a hyperlocal news website featuring news and events in Everett, Washington. We also cover City of Everett information and items of interest to those who live and work in Everett.

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