University Health, Texas A&M-San Antonio join forces to create new health care hub in south Bexar County
University Health, Texas A&M University-San Antonio, and the organization that oversees the A&M System’s health care programs have formed a three-way partnership centered around a shared vision: to give students in south Bexar County access to health care jobs and give the surrounding community better access to health care.
Plans are underway to build a new University Health hospital and an Institute of Public Health along the west entrance to A&M-San Antonio, and A&M-San Antonio is building a new public health building on campus, adding a new graduate degree in public health and a new research unit on genomes.
The new partnership builds on that shared geography and the opportunities it provides for both the hospital district and the university.
“One of the things that I've learned over the years is that you need critical mass to make a difference. You need to have great partners to make a difference. And immediately we saw the opportunity with the land here to be able to partner with Texas A&M,” said George Hernandez, president and CEO of University Health.
“I've seen what's happened with our academic partner at UT Health San Antonio. We formed a partnership with them in 1968, and today we are very, very strong,” Hernandez said. “We can make it happen here [in south Bexar County] as well.”
A&M-San Antonio President Cynthia Teniente-Matson said the addition of both a publicly-owned hospital and a public health institute next to the university will give A&M-San Antonio advantages available to only a handful of public universities across the country.
“Trust me, it is a rarity,” Teniente-Matson said. “Today is a defining moment in our university's history, but also in our nation's history in terms of what we're contributing. We together are strengthening our efforts to improve population health, and decrease disparities in access to health care.”
“Together, we're also going to be connecting a predominantly Latino and Latina student population to tangible career paths, with a solid roadmap and real-world experience to high-paying jobs in high-demand fields,” she added.
University Health’s new hospital will have 256 beds. It is slated to be completed by 2027.