New San Antonio hospital for women and children
University Health's new hospital for women and children will offer specialized, regional care in one location — the first in South Texas to do so.
Driving the news: The hospital at the University Health campus in the Medical Center will open to patients in August. There isn't a set opening day yet, a spokesperson says.
Why it matters: Children have specific health needs different than adults, Kelsey Sherburne, medical director for pediatrics at the new hospital, tells Axios.
- "Pulling us out of being a small children's area within an adult hospital gives us the ability to expand, but also to treat children how they should be cared for," Sherburne says.
State of play: The new hospital's service area extends beyond San Antonio to the Rio Grande Valley.
- It offers patients a centralized hub for specialized care, rather than a fractured system across the state, Irene Sandate, chief nursing officer at the Women's and Children's Hospital, tells Axios.
- University Health can transport patients to the San Antonio hospital when they need to receive specialized care they might not get where they live.
What they're saying: "The basis for this type of expansion is anticipating the growth of San Antonio and growing families," Sandate tells Axios.
By the numbers: The 12-story hospital has 300 beds and is more than 1 million square feet.
- The hospital cost $573.7 million, and the 900-space parking garage cost $62.4 million to build. University Health funded the project with cash reserves and bond funds.
- There was no increase to the hospital district's tax rate to construct the hospital.
Details of the new hospital include:
- A 24-hour urgent care for OB/GYN emergencies
- A 24-hour children's emergency room
- A pediatric intensive care unit
- A neonatal intensive care unit
- Labor and delivery suites
- Isolation rooms for women and children with infectious diseases, like COVID-19
- Mother's Place, a center for nutrition and support for breastfeeding parents
- Child life centers, or playrooms, with air hockey tables and other games
- Family lounges.
Zoom in: Visiting a hospital can fill many people with anxiety. Colors and other details throughout the hospital are meant to make children and families feel more comfortable.
- More than 1,000 pieces of art adorn the hospital, including art influenced by the landscape of a Texas state park on each floor.
- Colorful wallpaper faces children's beds.
- A family lounge includes floor-to-ceiling windows that let in natural light and offer views of the Medical Center.
Zoom out: The women's and children's hospital is part of larger expansion plans by University Health.
- The Bexar County-owned hospital district has plans for two new community hospitals — one on the South Side near Texas A&M University-San Antonio and another on the Northeast Side near Interstate 35 and Retama Parkway. They are planned to open in 2027 and 2026, respectively.
- The South Side hospital will serve an area with a growing lack of health services after Texas Vista Medical Center closed this year.
The bottom line: University Health officials have said there's a need for more services in a city and county with explosive population growth.
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