County Breaks Ground On New Hospital

The new facility will be located off Holly Hall near Highway 288. It will open in 2012 and will be called the Ambulatory Care Tower and the J Evans and Mary Attwell Radiation Therapy Center. That’s a long name for a place that will also provide a long list of services, services that are currently being provided at Ben Taub.

This is David Lopez President of the Harris County Hospital District.

"This allows us to provide outpatient care for our specialty clinic patients and also for patients who need diagnostic workups in an outpatient setting. Because right now, our patients who need diagnostic work up have to compete with inpatients at Ben Taub, and obviously trauma patients get priority. So they may have a ten o’clock appointment, but they may not be seen at ten. They may be seen at ten, eleven or twelve or later depending on how much trauma we have."

More than half of the patients at Ben Taub and the new facility are those considered to be poor. Robert Trenschel who runs the county’s ambulatory care services says the new facility should improve their health in the long run.

"We’ll get them into treatment sooner. We’ll diagnose them sooner. We’ll treat them sooner and so consequently, they should have better outcomes. Patients have been health outcomes they should be healthier, so we should be improving the health of our population."

The new health facility is being built in the district of Congressman Al Green. Green is happy about the construction, but for a different reason. He thinks it may someday help our war veterans.

"My hope is in the future, if we find that we cannot accommodate all of our veterans at the VA, that facilities such as this will be available to them. Our veterans have made a great sacrifice for all of us and we all have to make some sacrifice for them. I know the VA is there, but if we have a number that exceeds what our VA can handle then we want to make sure that they get care in other places."

The building will take two years to build and will cost about 120 million dollars.
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