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Kerrville State Hospital due millions for upgrades

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Posted: Thursday, January 11, 2018 8:46 am | Updated: 9:24 am, Thu Jan 11, 2018.

Kerrville State Hospital is among the 10 state psychiatric institutes in Texas slated to get upgrades, thanks to $47.7 million in funds approved by the 85th Texas Legislature late last year.

The Texas Department of Health and Human Services Commission announced Monday the release of the first phase of funds which are actually part of a $300 million budget for 2018-19.

An estimated $1.5 million will go to KSH. The funds will be used to upgrade its capacity by 70 beds, according to Christine Mann, public relations officer for the HHSC.

“This is the initial approval of projects by the Legislative Budget Board for us to take a step forward in transforming our state hospitals,” Mann said. “This is a multi-year plan that will focus on developing collaborating partnerships and expanding capacity for much needed mental health beds.”

In addition to the initial $1.5 million for architectural and engineering planning, Mann also said HHCS is proposing an additional $29 million in construction costs on the Kerrville facility, based on estimated construction and renovation costs.

The funds come five months after the Texas Health and Human Services Commission released a report looking at the state’s long-term mental health system needs. In the report, the organization recognized that some hospitals were built as early as 1850 and some aspects were in need of repairs and upgrades.

“A strong state psychiatric system is critically important to all Texans,” said HHSC Commissioner Charles Smith. “This investment will benefit the state for generations. With this support from state leadership, we can update our facilities and be sure we are providing Texans with the very best mental health care possible.”

The initial funding includes:

• renovation projects to expand capacity at the Kerrville and San Antonio State Hospitals;

• the architectural planning and design of a new hospital and continuum of care campus in Houston;

• the architectural planning and design of two new 100-bed units at Rusk State Hospital;

• the planning for the total replacement of Austin and San Antonio State Hospitals.

Mann said this was all in an effort to ensure quality care across the system, adding that expansions will relieve pressure on hospital beds in emergency rooms and homeless shelters.

According to an August 2017 HHSC report, plans to renovate buildings at KSH will add 70 maximum security unit beds.

KSH began providing psychiatric treatment in 1951, according to a 2014 HHCS report. By 1959, the hospital had grown to serve 1,200 resident patients. In 1999, KSH, as one provider of DSHS inpatient forensic services, began providing transitional care to patients on code of criminal procedure commitments who no longer require a maximum security setting. Currently, KSH does not have maximum security beds. The hospital also provides restoration of competency services to patients charged with non-violent offenses who are committed by district courts.

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