Unprecedented expansion plans unveiled for Methodist Hospital and Methodist Children’s Hospital

Methodist50thLOGOmethodist childrens hospital logoProject to include two new patient towers, expansion of adult and children’s emergency departments, neonatal ICU expansion and parking garage addition 

Methodist Hospital today announced its largest construction project in its history, which will expand the footprint of the Methodist Hospital campus by 445,000 square feet. Cost for the expansion will exceed $200 million and includes renovations and expansions for Methodist Hospital and Methodist Children’s Hospital, a campus of Methodist Hospital. Construction begins in 2014 and will continue through 2017.

MH Expansion Site Plan

“With a 50-year track record of as the most preferred hospital in the region, it’s important to continue to meet the needs of our community, our employees, and our physicians,” said Gay Nord, chief executive officer of Methodist Hospital and Methodist Children’s Hospital. “Our landmark expansion includes upgrades to substantial areas and services across Methodist Hospital and Methodist Children’s Hospital to include the addition of two new patient towers, expansion of women’s services and neonatal ICU, and expansion of emergency services as well as surgical services.”

“We’ve built a reputation for providing exceptional health care to the people of San Antonio and South Texas,” she continued. “Now it’s time for us to embark on the largest construction project our organization has ever undertaken.”

Highlights of the project include:

Methodist Hospital

  • Expansion of the Methodist Hospital Central Tower with a new entrance making the campus even more convenient for women having babies at Methodist Hospital. More women deliver babies at Methodist Hospital than any other hospital in San Antonio.
  • Expansion of the adult emergency department to 48 treatment rooms.
  • Expansion of the sub-level surgical pre-operating and post-operating areas and an additional nine story parking garage, partially underground, which will allow easy patient access from the parking garage to surgical suites.

Methodist Children’s Hospital

  • Expansion of Methodist Children’s Hospital Emergency Department to 40 beds. Methodist Children’s Hospital has the busiest children’s emergency department in the nation.
  • Addition of a six story patient care tower and new entrance for Methodist Children’s Hospital.
  • Expansion of Methodist Children’s Hospital’s Newborn Intensive Care Unit (NICU), resulting in 94 beds. The hospital currently has one of the largest NICUs in the region.

More than 90 percent of the patient rooms will be all private rooms, for the comfort and convenience of patients and their families.



“Congratulations to Methodist Hospital for its vision in recognizing the changing health care needs of our community and for their continued efforts to meet the challenges of our growing region,” said Ron Nirenberg, City Council representative from District 8. “This investment in our city is not only an economic generator, but also a commitment to excellence in health care for the benefit of San Antonio and South Texas families.” The expansion will increase jobs on the Methodist Hospital campus by eight percent.

Methodist Hospital opened in 1963 as the pioneer facility in the now world-renowned South Texas Medical Center with 175 beds and a staff of 272. Today, the hospital has 882 beds and employs 3,538 staff members with total annual salaries of $186 million.

Methodist Children’s Hospital opened in 1998 as the only hospital in the region built exclusively for children. It is the most preferred children’s hospital in the region and the largest provider of pediatric health care south of Dallas and west of Houston, serving children throughout south, central and west Texas.

Methodist Hospital celebrates 50th anniversary

Methodist50thLOGOMethodist Hospital celebrated its 50th anniversary with ceremonies honoring its employees, physicians and volunteers while community leaders recognized the pioneering role the hospital has played in the development of the South Texas Medical Center.

Methodist Hospital was chartered in 1955 as an independent hospital. The hospital began with 175 beds and 272 employees and has grown to 882 beds and more than 3,500 employees.

In 1995, it became the flagship facility of the Methodist Healthcare System. Today Methodist Healthcare is the largest provider of health care in South and Central Texas with 26 facilities including nine hospitals serving 90,000 inpatients and 390,000 outpatients annually.

During the ceremony, Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff recalled the origins of the hospital in 1954 when business strategists led by the San Antonio Chamber of Commerce and the Bexar County Medical Society learned the city was lacking in hospital beds and would not be able to handle a mass casualty situation or epidemic.  The Southwest Conference of the Methodist Church was approached to administer the hospital with ties to the church and an agreement was reached in 1955.

Within five years, land was donated and enough money was secured through donations and government grants to build a hospital using civil defense guidelines.  The hospital received national attention as the world’s first nuclear disaster-proof hospital with two floors underground to be used as a fallout shelter.

“It was important to these visionaries to find land for not just a single hospital, but for an entire medical complex,” said Judge Wolff.  “Our community will forever be indebted to the vision and bravery demonstrated by these individuals who stepped out in faith to build a thriving and successful medical complex.”  Today the biomedical field is the city’s leading employer and economic driver.  One of every five San Antonio employees works in the bioscience and health care industry.

“I’m in awe of the legacy of those leaders who came before me, those who had a vision for a Methodist hospital surrounded by enough land for development of a thriving medical center,” said Jaime Wesolowski, president and CEO of Methodist Healthcare System.

“We saw the visionary spirit again 20 years ago when leaders of the hospital decided that in the rapidly changing health care landscape, a single hospital might not fare very well,” continued Wesolowski.  “As a result, when Methodist Hospital became part of the Methodist Healthcare system, a family of hospitals was born, co-owned by HCA and a newly founded non-profit, Methodist Healthcare Ministries.  The Ministries shares our mission of Serving Humanity to Honor God. Receiving half the profits of MHS, Methodist Healthcare Ministries has become the largest non-profit source for community health care in San Antonio and South Texas directed to low income, under served clients ineligible for any medical assistance program.”  The Ministries contributed $72 million to providing 800,000 client encounters in 2012.

During the ceremonies, the longest tenured employees were introduced along with pioneering physicians and long-time members of the Blue Bird volunteer auxiliary.  These employees were Ian Shawcross, 46 years of service; Nancy Burrell, R.N., 43 years, Norbert Cantu, 43 years, Janie Ochoa, 42 years, and Oralia Martinez, 42 years. Also recognized were James Pridgen, M.D., who performed the first surgery at the hospital.  Charter members of the Blue Bird auxiliary receiving recognition were Karen Paterson, Connie Benson, Maxine Haas and Barbara Ringen. All have been serving since 1963 and remain active today.

Hospital officials also opened a time capsule buried in 1988, the hospital’s 25th anniversary.  After the ceremony, the hospital honored physicians, staff and volunteers at a luncheon that featured memorabilia from the time capsule, hospital archives, and a cake designed as a replica of the original hospital building.

Archived footage of the ceremony can be viewed on http://www.livestream.com/nowcastsa and on the Methodist Healthcare YouTube channel: SAHealth210.

San Antonio Medical Foundation oversees stewardship of the South Texas Medical Center

SanAntonio_Medical_Foundation_logoThe University of Texas at San Antonio was recently commissioned to conduct an economic impact study of the South Texas Medical Center. Among their findings were that the STMC annually supported 45,686 jobs in Bexar County; produces an economic impact of $5.4 billion; creates $70.1 million in city and county taxes/fees and $ 64.1 million in state revenues.

Since 1947 the San Antonio Medical Foundation (SAMF) has overseen the stewardship of the South Texas Medical Center (STMC). An abundance of projects have recently been initiated and/or completed in the STMC.

Regarding buildings, the 420 bed addition to the University Hospital has risen out of the ground like a “Phoenix”. The addition is scheduled for completion in early 2014. Another significant addition that will open in mid-2015 is the Center for Oral Health Care and Research at the University of Texas Health Science Center.

Several street and intersection improvements have also commenced or recently been completed. The intersection of Hamilton Wolfe and Ewing Halsell, where the Health Careers High School is located, has been completed along with the widening of Hamilton Wolfe to Floyd Curl Drive.  The fourteenth intersection improvement at Hamilton Wolfe and Babcock has commenced, with work on this project to be completed in early 2015. Since the major parking lot for SAMF’s 2.2 mile walking/jogging trail is located near this intersection, users may find it more convenient to park at the Hamilton Wolfe/Ewing Halsell parking lot during this time period.

Another congestion relief project is the grade separation, which takes Medical Drive under Fredericksburg Road. Work on this project has commenced and will continue until mid-2015.