New Menninger Clinic Campus

The world famous Menninger Mental Health Clinic -- which moved to Houston from Kansas only four years ago -- will finally get a home of its own, one that's much closer to the Texas Medical Center than its current facility. Houston Public Radio's Jim Bell reports.

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The Menninger Clinic has been using a former mental hospital on North Gessner since it moved here in 2003, and began its affiliation with Methodist Hospital and Baylor College of Medicine. Menninger has planned to be closer to the Texas Medical Center from the beginning, and now those plans are taking shape. It's unveiled plans for a new campus, on South Main at South Post Oak.ξ Menninger CEO Ian Aitken says everyone will benefit.

"For Menninger it will bring us closer to the Texas Medical Center, and our hope in moving is that this will enhance our opportunity to train residents and other health care professionals, and it will allow us to collaborate much more closely in neuro-scientific research, which we would like to apply to the clinical programs that we operate in the clinic."

Aitken says Menninger will continue working with its medical center affilliates in mental health research, but he's also hoping to develop new relationships.

"We're also hopeful that we can have other organizations who treat people with mental illness in and around Houston to collaborate with us at the Epicenter, so that we can all work together to address some of the issues in the community relative to people with mental illness."

Aitkin says the fundraising campaign has raised more than half its goal of $125 million, enough to start building the new campus next year. They hope to have it completed by the summer of 2010.ξ Jim Bell, Houston Public Radio News.

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