The Heart of Texas Behavioral Health Network received $8 million from the State legislature as part of House Bill 1 appropriation – part of a historic collaboration between HOTBHN and the region’s major healthcare providers.
“Our Center was part of a collective effort from the CEOs of HOTBHN, Ascension-Providence Waco, Baylor Scott & White-Hillcrest, and Waco Family Medicine, requesting $30 million from the Legislature. What passed was $8 million – specifically for crisis service enhancement and expansion,” said Daniel Thompson, HOTBHN’s CEO. “This will be for our region and partnership that will focus on crisis process, allow us to divert people in crisis from having engagement with law enforcement as appropriate.”
HOTBHN welcomed three of the region’s four elected officials to tour the Imperial Drive Health Campus’s Diversion Center. This 27,500-square-foot facility will be the center point for crisis services -- due for completion sometime in the fall. All three said they were glad to help the collaboration’s efforts in engaging them to increase health care outcomes for the people of the region.
“It is just outstanding. We deeply appreciate what Daniel’s hospitality and going through (the Diversion Facility), but it is something that is desperately needed for our community,” said District 56 State Representative Charles “Doc” Anderson. “We are very pleased the state was able to come up with some revenue to try to supply that need. The design and the implementation of this building, and this mindset and this consortium is state of the art.”
“The design is so thoughtful and expertly laid out. It is going to meet the needs of so many people in this community,” said District 13 State Rep. Angelia Orr. “I am grateful for all of the people who participated in this because I truly believe many don’t understand how many lives can be changed here.”
“The amount of services that you’ve been able to provide and the additional beds for mental health, and that includes children and adults, partnerships with other local agencies—it’s a great opportunity,” said District 22 State Senator Brian Birdwell. “It is just going to be great things happening here to provide mental health services to the heart of Texas region, and I applaud you and your team for everything you’re doing here.”
Daniel Thompson stressed all four of the collaboration’s partners would benefit.
“This will allow us to provide medical clearance for people brought to our Diversion Facility, which will reduce the burden on emergency departments,” Thompson said. “The diminished burden provided by the medical clearance component will couple with the diminished impact on law enforcement—which will certainly help reduce incarcerations in county jails for those with a serious mental illness. The funds will also help sustain the crisis professional workforce HOTBHN provides and allow us to further fund law enforcement activities as far as law enforcement engaging those in a mental health crisis.”
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