Michael Krupa

By Anne O’Connor

DEVENS — A psychiatric facility with an opening planned for October will bring much-needed treatment options and 200 jobs to north central Massachusetts.

The TaraVista Behavioral Health Center will open its first unit with 24 beds on Monday, Oct. 17, if all goes as planned, said founder and CEO Michael Krupa. In all, 108 beds are planned for the facility which broke ground in mid-summer 2015.

The psychologist and founder of Health Partners New England and Health Partners Technology puts the patients’ experience at the top of the list.

“We’ve got one chance here,” he said. Patients will be referred by other emergency rooms or by physicians.

From the first moment the patient arrives, usually traumatized and sometimes unwilling, he wants the experience to be warm and welcoming.

Some will be held on an involuntary commitment. Around 80 percent will not only have a mental illness, they will have a history of substance abuse. Most will stay about seven days.

An aquarium in each of the four units and a fireplace in the arrival area are just the beginning. The rooms will have windows that open, so patients can feel and hear the outside world. An interior courtyard provides a safe place for patients to be outside.

The right employees are needed to work with the patients. People who are able to have a heart-forward way of dealing with each other and the patients, Krupa said.

TaraVista is starting from scratch. Their website and LinkedIn site list only some of the jobs that will be available, said recruiter Ken Roy. More will be added.

The company will hire for every position needed to run a hospital, said Laurie Izzo, chief nursing officer.

Food service, facility maintenance and office staff are all needed. Social workers and those involved in every level of patient care will be hired.

Physicians and advanced practice nurses will be hired through TaraVista, but will officially work for the UMass Memorial Medical Group. Having a teaching hospital involved will bring professionals with a broad range of interests, Krupa said.

Keeping employees happy is part of the plan. “It’s hard to keep the mood up,” Krupa said. The patients and families are often stressed and that influences the people who work with them.

Employees will be eligible for gain-sharing and will participate in hiring decisions, he said. The mean salary will be in the $60,000 per-year range.

TaraVista will fill a need for psychiatric beds. The area has the fewest number of beds per 100,000 residents in the state and the mean wait for a bed is 17 hours, Krupa said. Some patients wait for days.

The facility is located within 45 minutes of Lowell and Worcester and does not require a trip inside Route 128, he said.

TaraVista will hold job fairs at the Hilton Garden Inn Devens Common, 59 Andrews Parkway, Devens, on June 15 and June 28 from noon to 6:30 p.m.

Their website is and they are on LinkedIn.

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