HHSC Hosting Community Information Session on $120 Million Rio Grande State Center Expansion Project

Media Advisory
Texas Health and Human Services Commission
Cecile Erwin Young
HHS Executive Commissioner
Jennifer Ruffcorn, 512-424-6951

HARLINGEN – The Texas Health and Human Services Commission is inviting the media to learn more about plans to expand the Rio Grande State Center during a community information session on Thursday, Nov. 2.

“Thanks to a significant investment by Governor Greg Abbott and the 88th Texas Legislature, we're building state-of-the-art inpatient psychiatric hospitals and expanding our reach,” said Scott Schalchlin, deputy executive commissioner of the HHSC Health and Specialty Care System. “These investments to our facilities will support HHSC’s continuing mission to provide high-quality care in modern, therapeutic environments while addressing important needs for the communities they serve.”

Since 2017, Governor Greg Abbott and Texas lawmakers have invested more than $2.5 billion to replace, renovate or rebuild state hospitals across the state. HHSC owns and operates nine state hospitals for individuals experiencing mental illness and one residential treatment center for youth. Patients in these facilities require an in-patient level of care to treat their mental health challenges. State hospitals serve adults, children and adolescents through evidence-based care and treatment.

HHSC plans to expand Rio Grande State Center to include a 50-bed maximum security unit featuring state-of-the-art therapeutic spaces in a secure environment for patients experiencing mental illness. Additional security measures will be included in the design to ensure the safety of patients, staff and the community.

The planning and design phase of the $120 million expansion project is estimated to begin in fall 2023 with construction slated for late summer 2024. Construction is estimated for completion in fall 2027.

During the community information session, HHSC staff will provide an overview of the expanding state hospital system and hold a question-and-answer session.

Rio Grande State Center opened in 1962 as the Harlingen Adult Mental Health Clinic. The facility provides inpatient adult psychiatric services, an outpatient health clinic and residential services for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

WHAT: Rio Grande State Center Community Information Session

WHEN: Thursday, Nov. 2, 2023
                 6-7 p.m.

WHERE: Harlingen Economic Development Corporation
                   2424 Boxwood St. Suite 125 (Auditorium Room 136)
                   Harlingen, TX

To RSVP, please email Jennifer Ruffcorn.

For more information about state hospital construction projects, visit the HHSC Changes to Texas State Hospitals page.