Advocate Editorial Board opinion: New services, land purchase positive moves

By the Advocate Editorial Board
Aug. 22, 2013 at 3:22 a.m.

Victoria is home to a strong health care community. Our city boasts several clinics, doctor's offices and two hospitals that have received numerous national awards. Now, one of those hospitals is taking steps to expand.

The DeTar Healthcare System has requested to buy a portion of Guadalupe Street between Navarro and Cameron streets, which divides the DeTar Hospital Navarro campus and the former Juan Linn School. The school is now owned by the hospital and is leased to Head Start and Victoria Christian School. DeTar has offered to pay the city of Victoria $90,000 for the portion of the street.

This seems like a common-sense plan to buy a section of street in order to unify the hospital's campus. The hospital has bought pieces of other surrounding streets over the years, so this is not a new course of action. The surrounding neighborhoods have plenty of other routes out of the area if the hospital chooses to limit the street to pedestrian traffic. We encourage the City Council to consider and approve this street sale to help expand the landlocked DeTar Hospital Navarro campus.

But a plan to buy a small segment of Guadalupe Street is not the only thing that is expanding in the DeTar Healthcare System. The DeTar Hospital North campus is adding an intensive mental health outpatient program for patients 18 and older to its current mental health program.

DeTar's CEO William Blanchard explained this program will meet the needs of those who do not require inpatient services, but the traditional outpatient services are too limited to meet their needs. The program lasts four weeks and helps treat patients through three-hour sessions offered three mornings a week and four-hour sessions offered two afternoons a week.

We are excited to see mental health care expanding in the Victoria area. Mental health diagnoses often comes with a stigma in today's society. But by creating positive treatment programs like these, DeTar is helping confront those issues and bring help to those in need of support. We applaud DeTar for its plans to expand and offer more mental health services to area residents. Thank you for all you do to help our community. We look forward to seeing these plans take shape.

This editorial reflects the views of the Victoria Advocate's editorial board.



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