Nearly three-quarters of Harris County voters participating in the November 2023 election voted for Proposition A, a $2.5 billion bond for Harris Health. With passage of the bond, Harris Health secures essential funding to support construction of a new Level 1-capable trauma center at its LBJ Hospital as well as renovate and expand services, capacity, and capability across the system’s two hospital campuses and ambulatory care services.
As the country’s fourth largest city, Houston has just two adult Level I trauma centers, one of which is Harris Health’s Ben Taub Hospital in the Texas Medical Center. Ben Taub Hospital’s Level I trauma center sees more than 80,000 patients a year, and the hospital recently underwent a major expansion and renovation project to expand its care capacity.
The American College of Surgeons recommends one high-level trauma center for every 1 million people, meaning Harris County should have at least four such centers for its population of 4.8 million.
When the System’s Board of Trustees approved the request to the County Commissioners County in April to order a bond election, Dr. Arthur Bracey, board chair explained the urgent need for funding. “Without immediate public investment, our hospitals and emergency rooms will continue to exceed capacity on a daily basis. We need to act now to address the immediate needs but also prepare for the inevitable growth in demand as Harris County grows.”
THOT members, including Harris Health, operate 10 of the state’s 22 Level 1 trauma centers and provide nearly half of all unfunded trauma care.
“Harris Health is to be applauded for its vision and for the advocacy and education work they undertook in the community over the last 18 months to secure this funding with such strong voter support,” said Maureen Milligan, Ph.D, president and CEO, Teaching Hospitals of Texas. “For Texas to continue to be the economic powerhouse it is, we need strong, thriving hospitals that can invest in expansion and innovation, and our teaching hospitals are leading the way.”
“We are proud of the trust and the love that residents of Harris County have expressed about Harris Health System by passing this bond proposal,” said Esmaeil Porsa, M.D., Harris Health System president and CEO.