Harris Health System breaks ground on 12-story, state-of-the-art Level I trauma center in NE Houston

Posted by Johann Nacario — June 7, 2024 — Harris Health System, UTHealth Houston, Harris County and City of Houston officials were on hand recently for the groundbreaking ceremony for a new $1.6 billion hospital on the Harris Health Lyndon B. Johnson Hospital Campus in northeast Houston. The 12-story hospital — slated to become the county’s next Level I trauma center replacing the aging LBJ Hospital — is expected to open in late 2028.

Rendering of new Harris Health Lyndon B. Johnson Hospital / Level 1 trauma center

Rendering of new Harris Health Lyndon B. Johnson Hospital / Level 1 trauma center. Image courtesy of Harris Health

The project signals the start of Harris Health’s $2.9 billion investment in its multiphase, multiyear strategic facilities plan to add a new Level-I capable trauma hospital, renovate the current LBJ facility, expand the capacity of existing Harris Health Ben Taub Hospital, and add three new health centers in Northwest, Southwest and Eastern Harris County.

Esmaeil Porsa, MD, president and CEO, Harris Health System, remarked:

LBJ and Ben Taub were built over 30 years ago, and in that time our community has grown exponentially. The addition of a Level I-capable trauma center will be the first of its kind in Harris County outside of the Texas Medical Center and is vital in meeting the growing needs of our region, as is the expansion of our primary care platform with new clinics.

The groundbreaking, which featured executives and board members of Harris Health and UTHealth Houston, along with philanthropic supporters from the Harris Health Strategic Fund and Harris County Hospital District Foundation, took place in an open-air tent holding hundreds of onlookers, with music provided by the local Kashmere High School Stage Band known as Thunder Soul.

Harris Health System Board Chair Andrea Caracostis, MD, commented:

This is the beginning of a monumental improvement in our medical infrastructure to provide state-of-the-art facilities and exceptional healthcare for all Harris County residents. The expansion of this hospital is way overdue and will go a long way to helping us better meet the needs of our staff, our patients and our Harris County residents.

The new hospital will include approximately 1.3 million square feet, and will feature 390 private rooms, with the space to add 60 more when additional capacity is needed. With a rooftop helipad, 15 dedicated operating rooms and a cutting-edge hybrid operating room, the hospital is designed to cater to a wide range of medical needs from routine procedures to the most complex emergency surgeries.

Porsa noted:

The northeast side has been underdeveloped for many years, especially in healthcare. For us to put this hospital here, it will be central to serving this community for many, many generations to come.

Harris County voters overwhelmingly approved the $2.5 bond supporting Harris Health’s strategic facilities plan in November 2023, with more than 72% approving the measure.

Partnership with UTHealth Houston

The location of the forthcoming hospital is important, as it will continue to serve as an expanded clinical training ground for residents and faculty of UTHealth Houston’s McGovern Medical School.

Porsa continued:

I know firsthand the benefit of this, as I did my clinical training here 30-plus years ago. It’s where the doctors and specialists of tomorrow get their start.

Find out more about the Level 1 trauma center groundbreaking at Harris Health.