Crime

North Texas mental health hospitals close in wake of criminal indictments

Screenshot of the Sundance Center of Fort Worth from the corporation’s website
Screenshot of the Sundance Center of Fort Worth from the corporation’s website

Sundance Behavioral Healthcare System, recently indicted on charges that it held patients illegally, has closed its three facilities and surrendered its license due to the criminal prosecution, the corporation’s attorneys announced Friday.

“Due to the ongoing criminal prosecution, Sundance Behavioral Healthcare System is financially unable to sustain services to the mental health population in our community,” the law firm of Varghese Summersett said in a statement released Friday afternoon. “As a result, the hospital voluntarily brought its patient count to zero.”

On Friday, the statement reads, “Sundance surrendered their license to Health and Human Services and is no longer accepting patients.”

The closure had apparently been in the works for a while.

“When the decision was made to reduce the patient count to zero, the hospital stopped accepting new patients and discharged current patients in the normal course of treatment,” according to attorney Benson Varghese.

The closures follow the recent indictment of the North Texas corporation on 20 counts of violating the Texas Mental Health Code over accusations that it held patients involuntarily and illegally.

The charges involve 11 former patients treated at the Sundance Hospital at 7000 U.S. 287 in Arlington.

The corporation, which specializes in the treatment of mental health, chemical dependency, and detoxification, also operates facilities at the Sundance Center of Fort Worth at 2707 Airport Freeway and Sundance Hospital Dallas at 2696 W. Walnut St. in Garland.

All three facilities have now been closed.

The Tarrant County District Attorney’s office declined to comment Friday.

Police in Gatesville, Texas said that an explosion at Coryell Memorial Hospital forced at least 12 people to be evacuated from the premises on Tuesday afternoon.

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For 23 years, Deanna Boyd has covered crime for the Star-Telegram. She digs deep into the stories behind the tragedies and hosts Out of the Cold, a podcast about unsolved murders in North Texas. She is a University of Texas at Austin graduate and has won several journalism awards through the years.
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