At a typical hospital, most patients will find that it caters to a wide range of needs, from invasive surgery to a run of the mill broken arm. University Health in San Antonio is aiming to rewrite this narrative when the newest addition to the system opens next summer: the Women’s and Children’s Hospital.

The $778.5 million new facility will be on University Health’s main campus at 4502 Medical Drive, right next door to University Hospital in the South Texas Medical Center, and will cater specifically to the unique needs of women and children.

“Our focus is on women's and children's services because we've done a lot of work around improving care for women and children,” said Irene Sandate, vice president and associate chief nursing officer for University Health Women’s and Children’s Services. “We're very much a hidden gem in the community. We've done a lot of work around maternal designation and also neonatal designation.”

When the hospital opens, it will be the only one in the area that serves women and children specifically. Not only does the new space allow for the services to be housed under one roof, but it also has been built with women and children in mind.

There will be 300 private inpatient rooms, including private NICU spaces for parents. This will allow new parents to have private space with their baby, as well as be able to stay overnight with them. Technology has been added that will allow parents to check up on their babies at home through a video monitoring system. Finally, with the new building comes a 900 space parking lot and a new dining and conference center.

A unique aspect of this new building is located on the first floor, which has been dedicated to breastfeeding mothers and will offer education on the subject for those who are new to the practice. For mothers whose babies are still staying in the NICU, they will have a space to be able to store breastmilk when they run out of space at home.

“It will be stored there and it will be marked with their name and their baby's name. This also leads us to eventually opening up a milk bank in the community at some point in the near future,” Sandate said.

For women there will also be a gynecologic urgent care center that will be open 24/7. Additionally, other floors will house a large labor and delivery unit, a pediatric chemo, hematology and oncology unit, a pediatric intensive care unit, a child burn program and a pediatric focused heart center.

“It's going to be all of these services in one building, and I think that makes us extremely unique in San Antonio in our region,” Sandate said.

Another standout feature of the hospital is the PREMIEre Program, which follows high risk premature infants for the first three years of life to make sure that they are developing correctly, since preemies are the most at risk for developmental delays.

With the new hospital having been years in the making, the staff at University Health are all eagerly awaiting for it to open.

“The fact that you're very involved in the day to day work, to elevate that standard of care and now you can put this in a building that's been designed specifically for these patient populations—that's pretty exciting stuff,” Sandate said.

The new building will be located at 4502 Medical Drive, and those interested in following the progress of the construction can visit

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