Northeast San Antonio Metrocom Edition - June 2022


To help manage growth and patient capacity, University Health purchased three pieces of land and began construction on a new addition to University Hospital intended to serve women and children. The new addition, which University Health is calling a hospital, will oer specialized care and is set to open in summer 2023. Amenities for maternity





Benets for parents • A dedicated OB-GYN emergency department • Large, private labor and delivery suites • The highest level neonatal intensive care unit connected to the labor and delivery unit • Private inpatient rooms • Space for family members to stay overnight • A sleeping suite for mothers who return to the NICU to breastfeed babies

300 beds for women, babies and children

900 space parking garage

ADDITIONAL shell space for future growth

12 stories


“A lot of people who need a hospi- tal, patients who come to our doctors close to our homes, a lot of them need a surgery or need to have a baby, and it is a routine delivery because they are healthy young women,” Kirkman said. “This idea of a hub and spoke would put hospital services closer to people’s homes.” According to Director of External Communications Elizabeth Allen, University Hospital, located in the South Texas Medical Center, is the only hospital in the University Health. It is a Level 1 trauma center focused on specialized care. As a more immediate solution to overcapacity at University Hospital, ocials said they set aside $700 mil- lion for a women’s and children’s hos- pital, which is set to open in 2023. “The need involves the growth we are seeing across San Antonio, Bexar County and several adjacent coun- ties,” Kirkman said. “It is one of the fastest-growing areas in the country, and [University Health] have been growing signicantly over the past couple of decades.” Keeping up with growth To remedy issues with the increased population and patient capacity, Uni- versity Health purchased the three pieces of land over the last two years to build new hospitals and give those in suburban San Antonio a facility

closer to home. The west side property was made in two purchases totaling $19 million and the south side property was $10.4 million. University Health acquired the 42.5-acre Selma property for $11.6 million. Hospital ocials said there is no estimated completion time for any of the hospital projects. According to Senior Public Rela- tions Specialist Andrea Wazir, Univer- sity Health is conducting a study to determine which hospital project is the highest priority before beginning construction. “Generally, we have looked at growth in the county, including the northeast corridor, to consider future needs,” Wazir said. “We will be able to better plan for the future by purchas- ing the land now.” According to Kirkman, the planned hospitals will be focused around rou- tine doctors and emergency care. According to Kirkman, using the locations outside of the city will allow University Hospital to keep up with patient intake and focus on those who need more specialized care and services, which helps the hospital care for all patients. Selma City Administrator Johnny Casias said he believes a new hospital will help the city keep up with growth while providing care for those in the Northeast Metrocom area.

the hospital. “We opened up the Sky Tower in 2014 because we were bursting at the seams at the time,” Kirkman said. “When we opened up in 2014, we felt like we were on good footing for the next several years. Almost as soon as we opened it up, we were experienc- ing the hospital being very close to being full.” This problem escalated when the COVID-19 pandemic began as the hos- pital had trouble supplying beds for the numerous patients that were in need of care. To give more room for inpatient care, the women’s and children’s hos- pital at University Hospital will pro- vide an additional 300 beds dedicated to women, babies and children. According to a University Health release, University Hospital is South Texas’ rst Level IV maternity cen- ter, meaning the hospital is uniquely prepared for high-risk deliveries and complications. According to Kirkman, the addition of this wing provides room to care for the women and children in San Anto- nio and the surrounding cities who use University Hospital. With the inclusion of the women’s and children’s hospital, University Hospital will have an estimated 1,016 rooms throughout the campus. The project is estimated to nish in summer 2023 and will serve as the

The new hospital will also spur growth and further economic devel- opment, Casias said. “A new hospital is needed in this area to keep pace with the phenome- nal growth that has occurred and the growth that will continue for many years,” Casias said. “This I-35 corridor is one of the fastest-growing corridors in the nation, and this future hospital will bring both the care and the job opportunities that are needed in this corridor.” At capacity Having specialized services and equipment, University Hospital sees an average of 565 patients per day, which is a 50% increase since 2010. In 2021, University Hospital had 30,134 inpatient discharges resulting in a 51% increase in inpatient discharges between 2010 and 2021. University Health also oers patients the CareLink program, which oers more aordable hospital bills to those under the federal pov- erty guidelines. With this program, University Hospital attracts those in search of medical care who cannot aord traditional medical expenses. According to Kirkman, University Hospital has faced problems with capacity since 2008, when the deci- sion was made to invest in the Sky Tower, which provided an additional 35 surgical suites and 420 rooms to



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