Public Information Officer
City of Harlingen
Office (956) 216-5030
Cell (956) 873-4629
JULY 3, 2014
ATTENTION ALL NEWS MEDIA
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
PHOTOS AVAILABLE UPON REQUEST
HARLINGEN CHOSEN FOR NEW HOSPITAL
A 72-bed psychiatric hospital under management by Strategic Behavioral Health LLC will break ground for construction late this summer, city officials announced Wednesday, July 2.
Mayor Chris Boswell told a news conference at City Hall that capital expenditures for addition of the new hospital are estimated at more than $10 million. Strategic Behavioral Health LLC will strengthen Harlingen’s prominent position in the health-care industry which includes a cluster of nationally recognized facilities and specialists. The new psychiatric hospital planned near the intersection of Hale Avenue and Victoria Lane will make mental health-care more easily accessible to residents in Cameron, Willacy and Hidalgo counties.
“Our health industry cluster in Harlingen will be a valuable resource for the medical school that will open with the new University of Texas Rio Grande Valley,” Boswell said. “High paying jobs for professionals is one aspect of the new hospital that makes this a great project to advance our community’s economic base.”
Raudel Garza, chief executive officer of the Harlingen Economic Development Corporation, said Strategic Behavioral Health plans to aid patients of all ages seeking mental and behavioral services. The company contacted the EDC in February after conducting research in more than 100 markets with populations of more than 300,000 residents before the company began a specific site analysis in the Harlingen area. Groundbreaking for construction tentatively is scheduled for Aug. 28.
Strategic Behavioral Health will expand the employment base and private investment in Harlingen, Garza said. Projected employment within three years for Strategic Behavioral Health in Harlingen is 200 to 225 employees with salaries ranging from $10 per hour for basic jobs to more than $60,000 annually for registered nurses, managers and directors.
The parent company is based in Memphis, Tenn., and operates seven psychiatric hospitals through subsidiaries in Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico and North Carolina. A new psychiatric hospital in College Station opened in April.
City Manager Carlos Yerena said the new business will help lower transportation costs for families by providing health services closer to their homes. The new hospital will benefit therapists and public safety agencies, he added, by reducing transportation time and expenses.
Harlingen continually provides economic leadership for the region and the state due to its affordable cost of living, education and training opportunities, and an excellent quality of life, Yerena said. He praised the EDC, private business officials and city personnel who cooperated with Strategic Behavioral Health to develop the project.
Cameron County Precinct 4 Commissioner Dan Sanchez said Strategic Behavioral Health in Harlingen will serve as an advocate for those requiring mental health care. Its local site will be
convenient for families and friends to visit patients, he said.
Bob Dunkin, chairman of the EDC board and president of the EDC, complimented the local and regional government and business partners that offer ongoing support to promote economic progress. He concluded, “This community makes things happen and gets things done.”
For more information about Strategic Behavioral Health’s new psychiatric hospital in Harlingen, contact Harlingen EDC CEO Raudel Garza at (956) 216-5081 or email@example.com.