Texas health officials break ground on $200 million renovation to Rusk State Hospital

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RUSK, Texas (KETK) – Tuesday opened new possibilities for patient care in the East Texas area with modern mental health treatment to promote recovery and healing for those in the region.

Texas Health and Human Services Executive Commissioner Dr. Courtney Phillips, state and local officials broke ground on a $200 million construction project at Rusk State Hospital that currently provides acute inpatient psychiatric care for adults from 36 counties.

The new project will allow for construction and renovations to the building that was originally built in 1919, with revitalizations expected to be completed by 2024.

“Every day we care for the most vulnerable Texans and this new facility will provide an even more supportive environment to promote healing and recovery for those who need it most,” Phillips said. “This project goes beyond the $200 million investment in new buildings at Rusk State Hospital; it’s an investment in the community and in the people we serve.”

The construction includes a new 225,000 square-foot patient complex that will include a 100-bed non-maximum security unit and a 100-bed maximum-security unit. The project will also include the construction of a new administration building.

Governor Greg Abbott and the Texas Legislature approved funding for the project and construction of the modern facility to the current outdated buildings at the hospital. The construction projects at Rusk State Hosptial are part of the $745 million Texas is investing to revitalize and transform several state psychiatric hospitals.

“The dream of providing modern mental health care and treatment in state-of-the-art facilities is about to become a reality,” Rep. Travis Clardy said. “And there could be no finer location, nor better legacy to build upon, than that of the Rusk State Hospital.”

HHS worked with The University of Texas at Austin’s Center for Sustainable Development on developing a design for hospitals that can support modern mental health care and make it easier for providers to offer patients the best care possible.

“We’re proud of the connection our community has had to the hospital for 100 years and we’re thrilled Rusk is going to continue to be a place where people heal,” Rusk City Manager said.

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