Texas Children's approves plan for Woodlands hospital

Texas Children's Hospital is set to finally build a hospital on 22 acres it has owned in The Woodlands for the past six years. The Texas Children's board of directors formally approved the plan Nov. 14 and has scheduled a groundbreaking ceremony for January.

The new hospital is expected to open in 2017 and will be on land south of St. Luke's The Woodlands Hospital on I-45.

"We have been out in The Woodlands for many years providing a variety of pediatric services to the community," said Lisa Helfman, director of real estate services with Texas Children's Hospital. "When we purchased the land with St. Luke's in 2007 it was with the intent to build, anticipating the growth that we expected to happen in the community."

According to Texas Children's, the 398,000-square-foot hospital will feature an emergency center with 24 patient rooms, a surgical center with four operating rooms, 30 acute care beds, five radiology rooms, 74 outpatient rooms and a helipad.

Plans for the new Texas Children's Hospital could reflect those offered at the West Campus in Katy.

Services and specialty clinics offered at the Texas Children's West Campus include adolescent medicine, infectious disease treatment, neurology, orthopedics, radiology and a surgery center.

"We have learned a lot from the building and opening of Texas Children's Hospital West Campus in Katy and we will definitely be utilizing that information as we construct the new hospital in The Woodlands," Helfman said. "At the same time, we will also be taking into consideration the land size we have, as well as the specific requirements of The Woodlands community."

Helfman said one of the primary reasons for Texas Children's moving into The Woodlands market is because of the growth in population and businesses.

"More and more people and businesses are moving that direction," she said. "This vision aligns with our mission to provide access to health care to all children in their communities. We have done that successfully in West Houston with our West Campus facility and with the growing pediatric population in The Woodlands, we felt it was time to expand north."

Karen Hoylman, president of The Woodlands Area Chamber of Commerce, said she believes the addition of a Texas Children's Hospital will improve the quality of care for families in the area.

"We are so pleased to hear that our health care community will be expanding with the addition of Texas Children's Hospital coming soon to the St. Luke's campus," she said. "Our families will be happy to know that quality care for their children is now close to home. The sterling reputation of this organization is an added benefit to the quality of life in our area."