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Harris Health System Declares Internal Disaster After Loss of 91 Beds to Water Damage

HOUSTON (Sept. 09, 2019) — Harris Health System officials declared a system wide internal disaster this morning at 11:35 a.m., following a water pipe break overnight at the system’s Ben Taub Hospital. While patients who were impacted at the time of the event were immediately relocated, patient capacity at both Ben Taub and Lyndon B. Johnson hospitals has been significantly affected, with 91 inpatient beds taken out of service due to the water damage.

"All of our resources and efforts are currently focused on dealing with the crisis at hand, developing a remediation plan, and maintaining a safe patient care environment," said Michael Hill, interim chief operating officer. "We are absolutely committed to meeting the community's patient care needs."

Ben Taub Hospital declared an internal disaster Sunday, Sept. 8, at 9 p.m. The declaration of internal disaster activates an internal plan for mobilizing resources to meet the challenges posed by the crisis. At that time, the hospital postponed some elective procedures, went on ambulance diversion status and made thorough assessments of available resources to safely relocate patients.

The current system wide declaration allows Harris Health to manage intra-system ambulance and patient volume, so LBJ Hospital can support patients who need to be transferred from Ben Taub Hospital.

Harris Health is working to restore normal operations as quickly as possible. We ask the community’s patience while we work through an assessment to determine the extent of repairs and the length of time it will take to complete those repairs.