SAN ANTONIO -

The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, dating back to 1855 and considered one of the best in the nation, and Vanguard Health System, of Memphis, Tenn., have informed officials at University Hospital and the UT Health Science Center, they have signed a letter of intent in hopes they can all join in building a long-awaited Chiidren's hospital in San Antonio.

To read the full letter, click here and here.

“This one creates a great deal of excitement,” said Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff.

A spokesman for the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia said, “We are excited to be involved in a project that is designed to bring CHOP’s 150 years of pediatric excellence to the San Antonio community.”

Tim Pilgrim, Vanguard’s senior vice president and chief development officer, said in a statement, “We look forward to working in collaboration with UTHSC and the University Health System to make this great vision a reality for our community.”

Vanguard already owns the Baptist Health System in San Antonio.

Wolff said soon there could be another proposal on the table from Methodist Healthcare that is still actively pursuing a possible partnership with University Hospital.

“As the largest provider of children’s health care services in the region, we do not take this commitment lightly,” said Jaime Wesolowski, President and CEO of Methodist Healthcare.

Although over a year of negotiations with Christus Santa Rosa went nowhere, Wolff said it plans to make an announcement Friday.

“Santa Rosa has some plans of its own that I think they may do by themselves,” Wolff said.

Pat Carrier, CEO of Christus Santa Rosa Health System, would not confirm, but said in a statement, “With a spirit of faith and conviction, we look forward to unveiling a new vision for the Christus Santa Rosa ministry very soon.”

“It’s good they’re all interested,” said Wolff.

But, he cautioned much work still needs to be done.

Wolff said the county has estimated it could take $400 million to build a 200-bed critical care facility for children, with a research and teaching component affiliated with the UTHSC.

To read the full statements from all the hospitals involved, click here.