After Harris County voters overwhelmingly approved of funding the Harris Health system’s $2.5 billion bond last November, hospital officials are preparing for the next step in the multiphase, multiyear project.

A groundbreaking ceremony is scheduled on May 9 for the new Level I-capable trauma hospital on the existing Lyndon B. Johnson Hospital campus in northeast Harris County. The opening date for the new hospital is anticipated for the first quarter of 2029, according to officials. Patrick Casey is the senior vice president of facilities construction and systems engineering. He said the hospital will provide quality, acute care in a part of the county that doesn’t have a lot of facilities for such patients.

“This is the beginning of a monumental improvement in Harris County to provide health equity for the people most in need and provide state-of-the-art facilities. Our population is growing and our need is growing. This will help us to meet that need in the community,” Casey said.

The new hospital was designed with areas for expansion to meet future capacity needs, officials said. Once fully completed, the facility will be able to hold:
  • 450 beds with private patient rooms, including 90 intensive care units, 30 postpartum units and 30 neonatal intensive care units
  • 15 operating rooms, one hybrid operating room
  • Seven catheterization laboratories capable of interventional radiology and computed tomography scans
  • Six generators, including three diesel and three natural gas, that will allow the hospital to produce its own power

Digging deeper

Awarding construction contracts with 35% minority- and/or women-owned businesses is a big part of the program, Casey said, with a hope that such an investment will reap further economic developments around the LBJ hospital area.

“Typically, if you build a new hospital, there’s a need for other services like food, groceries, restaurants, housing, day care ... that would support a big medical center,” Casey said.

According to hospital officials, the Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County is also coordinating a new transit route that will allow guests to stop right in front of the new hospital.

The cost

While the entirety of the capital building initiative will cost $2.9 billion, hospital officials said $2.5 billion will come from voter-approved funding with Harris Health officials anticipating making enough revenue to offset $300 million. The remaining $100 million in funding is anticipated to come from philanthropic efforts and donations with opportunities not only with the new trauma hospital but also the three additional health centers in precincts 2, 3 and 4.

“Those are naming opportunities that we have for the new hospital [and] the naming opportunities that we have for our new health centers in the precincts,” said John Martinez, Harris Health’s senior public and media relations specialist.

Locations and details of the three additional health centers are not publicly available.

“Many of the other bond projects are likely 12-16 months from getting a more defined schedule,” Martinez said.