University Health officials unveiled their newest hospital July 21 with a tour for local media. The 300-bed Women’s and Children’s Hospital is connected to the Bexar County-funded hospital system’s main campus at 4502 Medical Drive in the South Texas Medical Center in San Antonio. It includes a Level IV NICU and a Level IV maternal center. The hospital is slated to open for patients in August.

The specifics

The state-of-the-art hospital will offer health care services specific to women and children. It will include:

  • A breastfeeding support center, A Mother’s Place
  • A 24/7 women’s center for obstetric and gynecologic emergencies
  • A dedicated children’s emergency department
  • Family lounges in every floor
  • Gyms for pediatric inpatient rehabilitation
  • A Child Life Center that includes a performance area, a game room and a medical play space

Expectant mothers will find some unique features in labor and delivery, including labor tubs, C-section rooms equipped for complex deliveries including resuscitation areas for multiples, and private rooms reserved for parents who need to stay for babies in the NICU.

By the numbers

  • 12 stories
  • 300 beds
  • 900 space parking garage
  • 1 dining and conference center
  • 1.1 million square feet

The cost

  • $778.5 million funded through taxes, although there was no rate increase. Includes a $5 million donation from local philanthropist Harvey Najim earmarked for the Children’s Emergency Department.

What they’re saying

“I can’t tell you how happy it makes us to see children get their care here,” said Irene Sanders, chief nursing officer for University Health Women’s and Children’s Hospital.

“We don’t want to have women travel 100 miles—we want to have that high level of OB [obstetrics] for her here,” Sanders said.

“We’re a regional center so just in the last week we’ve gotten people from Laredo, El Paso, Del Rio, Corpus Christi, Brownsville and pretty much the whole [Rio Grande] Valley,” said Dr. Michael Gardner, administrator for University Health Women’s and Children’s Hospital.

“We feel responsible for all of South Texas, not just Bexar County,” Gardner said.

One more thing

The new Women’s and Children’s Hospital features a unique collaboration with the SaludArte: Art of Healing program, that aims to “inspire healing, compassion, hope and trust,” according to a brochure about the program. Featured throughout the hospital are more than 1,000 pieces of art including large scale and smaller sculptures, paintings, mixed-media pieces and a mural. More than 500 pieces of art were donated by public school children in San Antonio running in age from 5 to 17.

The SaludArte Healing Arts program, which was originally launched in 2010, includes performance spaces, music therapy and the “art at the bedside” program.