Wake County, Alliance Health to Secure New Provider for WakeBrook Facility

UNC Health to End All Services by October

After several months of negotiations, Wake County is disappointed to share that they have not been able to reach an agreement with UNC Health to provide ongoing services at WakeBrook Behavioral Health Facility beyond Fiscal Year 2024.

As a result, UNC Health will discontinue all services at WakeBrook by Sept. 30, 2023, and the county is working closely with its partner, Alliance Health, to secure a new service provider at the facility as soon as possible. 

“It’s unfortunate that after discussing several different proposals with UNC Health, we could not settle on terms for a service contract,” said Wake County Manager David Ellis. “WakeBrook is an important care center in our community, and we’re committed to minimizing the gap between providers, so we can continue to serve our residents battling mental health and substance use issues.”

The County and Alliance Health are currently in negotiations with a new provider that could deliver services at WakeBrook that would be similar to what UNC Health offers now. They include detoxification  for drugs and alcohol, crisis support, and inpatient psychiatric services. Wake County is also engaging with WakeMed and other community organizations on collective solutions that better support a healthier community – addressing medical needs, mental health needs, and personal challenges that present barriers to achieving optimal wellness and whole-person health.

How the Contract Negotiations Started
In March 2023, UNC Health told Wake County that they were changing their service delivery model to focus on children and adolescents. Therefore, they would be ending the detox and facility-based crisis programs at WakeBrook by June 30, and the remaining two programs would end by Dec. 31, 2023.

After some discussion, the County and UNC Health agreed in April 2023 to extend the contract for inpatient and crisis assessment services an additional year, through June 30, 2024, with the other two services running through Nov. 30, 2023.

However, when news of the contract fluctuations reached  WakeBrook staff, it caused uncertainty among the employees. Some left their positions, and it became difficult for UNC Health to hire temporary clinical personnel. Due to staffing shortages, UNC Health had to reduce the number of patients they could serve sooner than anticipated.

In early July 2023, UNC Health officially notified the County that an agreement would not be reached and they plan to cease all services at WakeBrook by Sept. 30. As word spreads that negotiations were unsuccessful, additional staff losses may occur, which could result in further capacity challenges.

Knowing this, Wake County has authorized Alliance Health to accelerate the pursuit of a new service provider at WakeBrook. Once an agreement is finalized, the County will share this information with the public. The county is committed to making the transition as smooth as possible for patients, staff and the community.     

About WakeBrook
WakeBrook is a behavioral health facility located in Raleigh that offers a continuum of services for people dealing with mental health and/or substance use disorders.

The facility offers four main services:

  • Crisis and assessment services
  • Inpatient psychiatric unit for adults 18 and older
  • Alcohol and drug detoxification unit
  • Facility-based crisis services

Since 2012, UNC Health has provided behavioral health services at the WakeBrook facility, which Wake County owns. The county has historically leased the facility to UNC Health at no cost as an in-kind contribution for serving local residents. In addition, since 2012, Wake County has funded a three-way contract with Alliance Health and UNC Health to exclusively support services at the facility.

For more information and updates related to WakeBrook, visit wake.gov/WakeBrook.

Press Release