Texas Tech Health Sciences awarded $8.4 million for psychiatry

The Midland Development Corporation has announced an $8.4 million economic development incentive for the creation of an outpatient child and adolescent psychiatric fellowship program at the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center.

The contract will create an outpatient child and adolescent psychiatric fellowship program to serve the mental health needs of children and families in West Texas and to train future psychiatrists, a news release said.

Dr. Bobby Jain, chair of the TTUHSC Department of Psychiatry, said currently there are about four board-certified child psychiatrists in an area of more than 250,000 people.

Keith Stretcher, MDC first vice chairman, said people in the region have limited options for child psychiatric services with most having to travel to El Paso or Dallas for services.

“This program will make Midland the hub for child and adolescent psychiatry in West Texas,” Stretcher said in the release. “Quality of health care and educational opportunities are the main questions we receive when recruiting potential businesses. With this program in place, we can assure Mainlanders that they and their families will receive excellent care.”

TTUHSC will see a minimum of 9,000 patients a year to be served by four fellows and up to 16 medical residents. MDC will help fund the program with $8.4 million to be disbursed in $1 million installments each year, the release said.

Residents have extensive training requirements and are required to finish two additional years of training to treat children, after an initial three years in adult psychiatry.

“Because of this economic development incentive, we now will be able to add two fellows per year in addition to the 16 residents,” Jain said in the release. “This is an investment in the health of our children and the Midland community.”

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