New Plans for Historic Riverside General Hospital Site

31 Oct, 22

Complex in Third Ward will House Harris County Public Health and other Vital Services
Millions of Dollars Donated by Houston Endowment and Qatar Harvey Fund

WHAT: Harris County Commissioner Rodney Ellis, Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner, Qatar Harvey Fund (QHF) officials and health experts will provide updates on the multimillion renovation project at the historic Riverside General Hospital, which will house Harris Public Health and other vital health-related services. The County’s purchase and renovation of Riverside in Third Ward were made possible by $5.3 million grant from Houston Endowment Inc. and a $2.5 million grant from QHF, which the State of Qatar created to administer a $30 million gift from the country to support long-term recovery of Southeast Texas following Hurricane Harvey in 2017. Officials will unveil the construction sign that signals the project will start next year with renovations to the hospital, nursing school and laundry buildings. 

WHO: Harris County Commissioner Rodney Ellis
Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner
U.S. Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee
Hon. Rashid bin Abdulla Al Dehaimi, State of Qatar Consul General, Houston
Radhika Kudchadkar, Director of HCPH’s Office of Planning & Innovation
Carl Davis, Third Ward Community Leader
Deloyd Parker, Executive Director of SHAPE Community Center in Third Ward

WHEN: Monday, Oct. 31, 2022, 10 a.m.

WHERE: Riverside General Hospital, east side of building facing Elgin St. | 3204 Ennis St. 

VISUALS: Unveiling of construction sign 

Four years after Harris County Commissioners Court agreed to invest in re-opening historic Riverside General Hospital, Commissioner Rodney Ellis, Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner, health experts and Qatar officials will provide updates on services that will be available for underserved people in Third Ward and countywide. 

“I am grateful to know that soon the legacy of care will live on now that the County successfully purchased this site and is investing in revitalization efforts,” Commissioner Ellis said. “The County's planning efforts and generous donations from the Houston Endowment Inc. and the Qatar Harvey Fund have allowed us to breathe new life into Riverside and provide improved health services to the public.”

To defray the project’s cost, Houston Endowment donated $5.3 million to purchase the property and the Qatar Harvey Fund (QHF) gave $25 million. The State of Qatar created QHF to administer a $30 million gift from the country to support long-term recovery of Southeast Texas following Hurricane Harvey in 2017.

Work at the complex, which will be operated by Harris County Public Health (HCPH), includes restoring the hospital building built in 1926, making it part of the National Register of Historic Places. In addition, the Houston Negro School of Nursing building and laundry room will be renovated. 

In 1926, the site opened as Houston Negro Hospital, the first nonprofit health-care facility in Houston for African-Americans.  The nursing school opened in 1931. 

In Phase II, plans also include construction of a state-of-art building for HCPH. The building will give the community access to additional care services and house HCPH administrative offices.

The complex will be the headquarters for Accessing Coordinated Care and Empowering Self Sufficiency (ACCESS) Harris County, a program Commissioners Court created last year that works to improve outcomes for vulnerable individuals through a multi-interdepartmental disciplinary team or care coordination team. The team will focus on supporting clients holistically, addressing multiple needs that ensure better outcomes and greater stability.

Through ACCESS Harris, HCPH will partner with other Harris County Departments and non-County organizations. HCPH will lead to provide care for the public health needs of the community, while simultaneously connecting recipients to services from ACCESS partners.

Services planned for the site include dental care, childhood vaccinations, flu shots, obesity reduction, asthma management, diabetes prevention, Women, Infants and Children (WIC) services, and maternal and infant health.

“As we’ve seen with maternal health disparities, from the time a person of color is in their mother’s womb, they are on the wrong side of a bad statistic,” Commissioner Ellis said. “After being born, it’s food insecurity, underfunded schools, inadequate housing, barriers to opportunity, lack of access to quality health care and so on. 

“But in Harris County, we are working to end those disparities, and it will all happen right here, where we’ll bring many of the County's public health and safety-net programs to the site under one roof.”