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Health & Science

Harris County Approves $70 Million Expansion For Ben Taub Hospital

The improvements will help the hospital keep its Level 1 trauma status.

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Ben Taub front view of building
Harris Health System
Ben Taub front view of building

Harris County Commissioners approved $70 million in bonds today to expand Ben Taub Hospital's operating facilities. The hospital will go from having 11 operating rooms to 18.

George Masi is president and CEO of the Harris Health System. He says the expansion came in response to warnings last year that Ben Taub wasn't meeting standards as a Level 1 trauma center.

“We simply do not have enough operating capacity to take care of not only the trauma, but all the other surgeries that present in a large urban hospital like Ben Taub is,” Masi says.

Along with Memorial Hermann, Ben Taub is one of only two Level 1 trauma centers in Houston, those that provide 24/7 emergency care for serious injuries.

Harris County Judge Ed Emmett says the region needs two or three more facilities to meet the needs of a growing population.

“If Ben Taub had been put out of service as a Level 1 trauma center, there's no way Memorial Hermann could have handled all of that,” Emmett says. “The two of them can barely handle what we have now.”

Construction is set to begin by early next year, and the project is expected to be complete in December 2017.

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