The 2021 President’s Gala of The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, held Nov. 3 at the lovely Botanical Garden, shined a spotlight on the UT Health San Antonio Multispecialty and Research Hospital scheduled to open in 2024. Built on a foundation of research expertise, the highly anticipated hospital will afford access to leading clinical trials and therapies as it addresses the most critical health care needs of our community and South Texas.
President William L. Henrich, MD, MACP, discussed UT Health San Antonio’s $430 million commitment to provide a new, top-of-class research and specialty hospital for San Antonio and the region. This commitment is fueled by incredible growth in UT Health San Antonio’s physician practices and a relentless dedication to excellence, Dr. Henrich said.
The gala honored distinguished Texas businessman Edward E. Whitacre Jr. and his wife, Linda. Mr. Whitacre is the former chairman, CEO and president of AT&T Inc. and also served as chairman and CEO of General Motors Corp. Kris and Jim Ellis were the honorary chairs of the Gala, which carried the theme “The Future Is Here.”
The event raised $550,000 for the Linda and Edward Whitacre UT Health San Antonio Hospital Fund, augmenting more than $50 million given by generous members of the community and $80 million approved by The University of Texas System Board of Regents. Dr. Henrich thanked the Regents and every community donor for their support. The Whitacres donated the first leadership gift to name the clinical diagnostic unit in the hospital, Dr. Henrich said.
The UT Health San Antonio Multispecialty and Research Hospital will be uniquely centered on providing care for the most complex diseases in an environment that is most conducive to speedy healing and family support. With cancer diagnoses being forecast to increase 35% regionally during the next decade, the hospital will feature a strong focus on the myriad of diseases that, collectively, are known as cancer.
“As is true of all our efforts, we will continue in our commitment to serve the public good through care that puts patients and families first and provides them with the best chances of excellent outcomes,” President Henrich said.
San Antonio cancer patients sometimes have needed to go to other cities for care, spending months at a time in temporary quarters. They miss the small things, such as being able to go outside in the back yard or cook in their own kitchen. “We are building this hospital to make it possible for patients in San Antonio, including those with cancer, to stay close to home during their treatment,” Dr. Henrich said. “There is a calmness that comes with being at home, and when you are calm, you can heal a lot better.”
Excellent care of many cancer types is available in San Antonio, but the reality is that, sometimes, cancer patients need hospitalization, said Ruben Mesa, MD, executive director of the Mays Cancer Center, home to UT Health San Antonio MD Anderson. “The hospital plays a crucial role in the complex, multidisciplinary care needed for cancer,” he said. “This new hospital is designed to enhance the delivery of new and cutting-edge therapies for cancer patients in our region.”
The Mays Cancer Center, a National Cancer Institute-designated Cancer Center, will be connected to the hospital, uniting inpatient and outpatient care as the hospital features expertise in new immunotherapies, stem cell transplants and cellular-based therapies.
The hospital will enable the Joe R. and Teresa Lozano Long School of Medicine to grow its medical residency and fellowship programs by 100 physicians, bringing the total to more than 1,000 trainees. Student populations will also increase in the health science center’s School of Health Professions and School of Nursing.
The hospital will include 144 beds, 12 operating rooms, a state-of-the-art imaging center, an in-house pharmacy, an intensive care unit and stem cell units.
Watch the inspiring President’s Gala video.
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