New psychiatric hospital opens in Harlingen

HARLINGEN — The newest medical facility in Harlingen opened its doors to visitors today, one day before the serious business of taking patients.

Palms Behavioral Health, a $13 million, 94-bed psychiatric hospital, will help fill what mental health experts say is a woefully underserved medical need in the Rio Grande Valley.

“Today is an incredible day for the Rio Grande Valley,” said Palms CEO Michael Sauceda, addressing 200 people outside the hospital this morning.

“We’re going to have an opportunity to impact everyone in the Rio Grande Valley,” Sauceda continued. “All the families that are dealing with mental health issues, the issues that for a long time did not have the resources we have today.

“Strategic (Behavioral Health) and the Palms are a great testament to making the investment not only in the facility … but all the people who are coming through this building on a daily basis.

“I truly thank everybody for being here today.”

The new Harlingen hospital, located at 613 Victoria Lane, is part of an aggressive national expansion by Memphis-based Strategic Behavioral Health. By year’s end the parent company will operate a dozen psychiatric treatment hospitals in the United States.

It also is a major addition to Harlingen’s growing importance as a regional medical treatment destination. Palms joins large hospitals Valley Baptist Medical Center and Harlingen Medical Center as part of the city’s growing medical community.