In November 1991, a State Constitutional Amendment authorized the sale of $8.7 million in general obligation bonds to construct the El Paso Psychiatric Center (EPPC.) The Center was to be owned by the Texas Department of Mental Health and Mental Retardation and developed in conjunction with Thomason Hospital, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, Life Management Center for Mental Health and Mental Retardation Services, El Paso State Center and the El Paso County Drug and Alcohol Abuse Services, known collectively as the El Paso Psychiatric Center Coordinating Council (EPPCCC).
In October 1992, the Texas Department of Mental Health and Mental Retardation approved submission of bonds for sale for the cost of planning and design. Remaining bond funding was used for the construction of the Center. A groundbreaking ceremony was held on December 2, 1994 and construction was completed in May 1996, with an opening in August. This legislative session secured $ 22.2 million for operating funds for the biennium. Additional funding was appropriated for furniture and equipment.
The Center is located on property leased from the El Paso County Hospital District adjacent to the west end of Thomason Hospital, the county's district hospital. Center construction was coordinated with long range planning on the medical campus, which includes the Center and Texas Tech University Regional Academic Health Center and Texas Tech Medical Center educational facilities.
The El Paso Psychiatric Center was a coordinated effort to deliver accessible, comprehensive acute care through the collaboration of the institutions and agencies composing EPPCCC and other community agencies. The Center's purpose is to deliver high quality, coordinated individualized psychiatric patient care, to teach and train health care professionals and engage in research. The Center is a new approach to collaborative community efforts in the state and a model for other developmental projects for mental health care delivery.
From January 2001 through August 31, 2002, El Paso Psychiatric Center was under the oversight of the Texas Department of Mental Health Mental Retardation (TDMHMR). On September 1, 2002, EPPC became the tenth state mental hospital comprising TDMHMR. Since September 1, 2004, the center is under the oversight of the Department of State Health Services (DSHS.)