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Deal To Build New Children's Hospital In Medical Center Collapses

UT Health Science Center

The deal that would bring a state-of-the-art academic children's hospital to the San Antonio Medical Center has collapsed.

The University of Texas Health Science Center and the Baptist Health System were to work with the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) to build a new pediatric research and teaching hospital. But word came late Tuesday that CHOP will no longer be participating in the consortium because of competition in Philadelphia between CHOP and another company.

"That caught us all by surprise," said Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff. He said pediatricians at UTHSC are now in limbo.

"Tenet bought the company that was going to have a partnership with Children's Hospital in Philadelphia. CHOP does compete with Tenet in Philadelphia," Wolff said, referring to the purchase of Vanguard Health Systems, which owns the Baptist Health System. He said it would be unlikely for CHOP to cooperate with Vanguard/Baptist in the agreement, as they are now competitors. 

The $350-million hospital to be built near the UT-Health Science Center-San Antonio would have been able to draw on the experience of the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, the top-rated children’s hospital in the nation.

The UT Health Science Center severed its relationship with Christus Santa Rosa last year in favor of partnering with the Children’s Hospital Of Philadelphia.  Christus, meanwhile, has moved forward with its own plan to develop The Children's Hospital of San Antonio, which it says will be the premier children’s hospital to serve South Texas children with serious illnesses. 

Eileen Pace is a veteran radio and print journalist with a long history of investigative and feature reporting in San Antonio and Houston, earning more than 50 awards for investigative reporting, documentaries, long-form series, features, sports stories, outstanding anchoring and best use of sound.