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Austin State Hospital redesign plans leap forward

Tuesday, January 9, 2018 by Elizabeth Pagano

The Texas Health and Human Services Commission announced Monday that it is planning for the “total replacement” of the Austin State Hospital as part of a $47.7 million initiative to begin improving the state’s inpatient psychiatric care system. According to a separate announcement, the Dell Medical School at the University of Texas at Austin will lead a $15.5 million redesign of the Austin State Hospital, with a contract between the two entities to be finalized “shortly.” Dell Medical has been working with state Sen. Kirk Watson and stakeholders to create a center for brain health on the site. According to a press release from the medical school, “The center will aim to transform mental health and substance abuse care into an integrated system of comprehensive brain health. This new approach will be founded in innovative, person-centered facilities and programs that better serve the continuum of needs across Austin State Hospital’s broad service areas covering 33 counties for adults and 55 counties for children.” A master plan for the campus will be prepared in advance of the next session of the Texas Legislature, which will take place in 2019.

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