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Outgoing UH chief presented with county and city honors for four decades of service

Valentina Barrera-Ibarra
Texas Public Radio
George Hernandez, Jr. is pictured in San Antonio City Council Chambers where he was honored last week by proclamation for his long leadership of University Heatlh.

The president and CEO of University Health (UH), who is retiring after more than four decades of leadership at the county's public health system, received accolades last week from local elected leaders.

Bexar County commissioners presented George Hernandez Jr. with the Hidalgo award, the county's highest honor.

Bexar County Judge Peter Sakai praised Hernandez for his service to the county during this last week's commissioner's meeting at the courthouse.

Hernandez, surrounded by family, friends, and others from UH, has seen an explosion in population growth and a massive expansion of the county public hospital system in his 43 years.

A new tower designed to meet the needs of women and children opened not long ago on UH property in the Medical Center. He told commissioners new construction will continue after he leaves office on July 1st.

"You will see two community hospitals, two medical office buildings, two community clinics," Hernandez told them.

Those new hospitals will be located near Retama Park and Texas A&M San Antonio, on the extreme north and south ends of the county, both areas long underserved.

Hernandez was in office to see UH treat some of the victims of the Uvalde school shooting in May 2022. He also oversaw UH care for thousands of area residents who became ill during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Edward Banos, executive vice president and COO at UH, will replace Hernandez and run the county hospital system. It has 11,000 employees and a more than $ 3-billion-dollar annual budget.