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The Dunn Center Building

The Dunn Behavioral Sciences Center is an achievement of modern architectural design with a foundation of the traditional academic hospital model. With UTHealth Houston's mission woven into every aspect, each element of the building is designed to serve patients and train the next generation of clinicians. The 240,000 square-foot building includes 264 new inpatient beds, support space for staff and student education and research, and a therapy mall to support healthy recovery. The hospital carries the name of John S. Dunn in gratitude for a generous gift to support innovative health research, education, and patient care.

Dunn Behavioral Sciences Center Rear Courtyard Side View

In recognition for its innovative design and construction, the Dunn Behavioral Sciences Center was recognized by the Urban Land Institute Houston with a Development of Distinction Award in the Not-for-Profit category at the 16th Annual Development of Distinction Awards. The building was recognized for the fact that each space is designed to naturally aid appropriate and beneficial interactions between patients and staff.

Facility and Amenities

The Courtyards

The East Courtyard allows patients to access the extensive green space of the adjacent UTHealth Houston Harris County Psychiatric Center. Along the way is an outdoor play court for basketball and other activities apart from the activities of the West Courtyard. When not in use for patients, the East Courtyard becomes a place for staff to enjoy fresh air, feel the sun on their faces, and experience the outdoors in a shaded and carefully landscaped setting.

Dunn Behavioral Sciences Center East Courtyard

The first floor of the facility also includes therapy space for a variety of patients and a Therapy Mall containing group rooms designed for a variety of evidence-based treatments that will prepare patients for their next step in the recovery process.

Teaching and Training Spaces

Just down the hall from the therapy mall, an entire wing is dedicated to the teaching and training of new clinicians including doctors, nurses, therapists, and researchers. With teaching space flexible enough to accommodate didactic learning and Grand Rounds, students and faculty have a tremendous level of support in the important work they are doing as part of the UTHealth Houston curriculum.

On the upper levels, each unit is carefully crafted to keep patients safe in a therapeutic environment designed to reduce agitation and support treatment in a dignified, humane space. The social spaces are crafted around the latest science in social interactions. With ample access to daylight and views, primarily into the beautifully landscaped courtyards, patients have the opportunity to maintain a well-balanced circadian rhythm. Carefully tuned acoustics and lighting create an ideal environment for the important work of getting better and beginning the recovery process.

Dunn Behavioral Sciences Center Conference Room

Patient Rooms

As soon as they enter a unit, patients will experience one of the simplest and most powerful aspects of the building: easily accessible customization panels. That is a fancy way of saying “chalkboard paint.” Patients have their own writable surface in their bedrooms, in addition to the available chalkboard walls around the social spaces in the unit. The ability to explore self-expression when inspiration hits can be freeing to the mind and therapeutic to the soul, primary goals of the treatment program at the Dunn Behavioral Sciences Center.

Dunn Behavioral Sciences Center Patient Room

Group Rooms

Each unit also has a Group Room used for group therapy sessions, art and music therapy, and recreation and relaxing. Filled with daylight and set against a wall-sized mural of a beautiful Texas landscape, the group room is an inspiring place to work on healing.

Dunn Behavioral Sciences Center Group Therapy Room