Harris Health System Board of Trustees Approves Request to Order a Bond Election

The request is to finance the rebuilding and upgrading of Harris Health’s facilities.

By HFT Staff

The Harris Health System Board of Trustees unanimously approved a request to the Harris County Commissioners Court to order a bond election for an estimated $2.5 billion. This request is to finance the rebuilding and upgrading of Harris Health’s facilities, which are quickly reaching their end of use and have been operating at near-full capacity for years. If passed in the November 2023 ballot, this bond referendum will provide much-needed investment for the public safety net. 

The proposed $2.5 billion bond and capital construction package includes several essential initiatives, including the construction of a new Level I-capable trauma center outside the Texas Medical Center, replacing the current Harris Health Lyndon B. Johnson (LBJ) Hospital, adding new community-based clinics in high-need areas, and providing the necessary investments into Harris Health Ben Taub Hospital to extend its life span. 

The American College of Surgeons recommends having one high-level trauma center for every one million people, making the proposed Level I trauma center a critical addition to the county's healthcare infrastructure. 

Harris County currently has two adult Level I trauma centers, serving a population of almost 4.8 million. Houston is the second fastest-growing major metropolitan area in the United States, with Harris County projected to have over six million residents, with more than 1.5 million uninsured people by 2050.  

In addition to the bond package, Harris Health intends to raise $100 million in philanthropic support and an additional $300 million from operational savings to help offset the total $2.9 billion strategic capital improvement plan.  

Over the next three months, the Harris County Commissioners Court will deliberate on the bond request. Commissioners will be able to take action on the bond proposal in August, as set by state statute, to either put the bond proposal on the ballot in November 2023 or decline to do so. 

May 9, 2023

Topic Area: Construction

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