June 24, 2019

Dr. Courtney N. Phillips, HHS Executive Commissioner

Contact: 
Christine Mann, 512-424-6951
Christine.Mann@hhsc.state.tx.us

AUSTIN – The Texas Health and Human Services Commission along with The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth) will host a groundbreaking ceremony June 26 for a new state psychiatric hospital, the UTHealth Continuum of Care Campus.

“The state is making an unprecedented and life-saving investment in helping people with mental illness. This is a true partnership with a common mission of providing absolutely the best care possible,” said Dr. Courtney N. Phillips, HHS executive commissioner. “We are making progress, expanding our efforts and moving forward to proactively address the mental health needs of Texans.”

The groundbreaking marks the first major construction of a state mental health hospital since El Paso Psychiatric Center opened in 1996. The Texas Legislature and the Governor in 2017 approved $125 million in funding for the construction of a new 240-bed hospital in Houston. HHSC is contracting with UTHealth to design and construct the new facility. Overall, Texas has invested $745 million over the past two legislative sessions to replace and renovate several state hospitals throughout the state.

“The Texas Legislature has made a commitment to increasing access to mental health services, and the expansion of the UTHealth Continuum of Care Campus is a prime example of that investment in action,” said Rep. John Zerwas, M.D. “The ability to serve more people and better the lives of Texans, while lowering costs elsewhere, such as the criminal justice system, is a true success.”

When complete in early 2022, the new hospital will provide services for people who need inpatient acute psychiatric care. Additionally, the hospital will provide supports to help people successfully transition back to their home communities. With a focus on serving people with short-term civil commitments, the addition of the new hospital will allow other state hospitals to serve people with longer-term forensic commitments and those with complex medical needs.

WHAT: Groundbreaking ceremony featuring remarks by health officials at the site of the new UTHealth Continuum of Care Campus, adjacent to Harris County Psychiatric Center.

WHO: Dr. Courtney Phillips, HHS Executive Commissioner
Mike Maples, HHSC Deputy Executive Commissioner
Tim Bray, HHSC Associate Commissioner, State Hospitals
Dr. Giuseppe N. Colasurdo, UTHealth President
Rep. John Zerwas, M.D.

WHEN: 11 a.m. Wednesday, June 26, 2019

WHERE: Harris County Psychiatric Center, 2800 South MacGregor Way, Houston

For more information about HHS programs, visit hhs.texas.gov.