Health & Science

Plans For New Psychiatric Hospital Unveiled In Houston

It is a joint project of the Texas Health and Human Services Commission and UTHealth.

Rendering of the UTHealth Continuum of Care Campus for Behavioral Health.

Plans for a new psychiatric hospital in Houston, the first to be built in more than 30 years, were unveiled Friday.

The name of the facility will be UTHealth Continuum of Care Campus for Behavioral Health. It is a joint project of the Texas State Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) and The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth).

The facility, which will be located in the Texas Medical Center, is greatly needed because one in 25 adults in Harris County has a serious mental illness and there aren’t enough beds for those requiring hospitalization.

The campus was created with $125 million in state funds approved by the 2017 Legislative Budget Board and Gov. Greg Abbott to HHSC. It is part of a large initiative to improve behavioral health across the state.

Once complete, the campus, which includes the new hospital and UTHealth Harris County Psychiatric Center (HCPC), will become the largest academic psychiatric  hospital in the United States.

Stephen Glazier, chief operating officer of UTHealth’s Harris County Psychiatric Center, will oversee the new hospital. He said the hospital will hopefully take pressure off of facilities that aren’t able to meet demand — especially in crisis cases, which fall under acute care. “We absolutely need more acute care beds,” Glazier noted, “and this building is going to address that.”

With an additional 240 beds arranged in 10 units, the new hospital will focus on reducing rapid readmissions and improving outcomes for super utilizers – those with four or more stays per year.

The facility will also have subacute care units for patients who need a longer stay to heal.

Glazier said they will break ground on the hospital this summer and hopefully complete construction by the end of 2021.

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