Next week will mark a milestone for Christus-Santa Rosa downtown when it selects the architect who will design its new Children’s Hospital of San Antonio, according to Marcy Doderer, its vice president and administrator.
Meanwhile, Christus-Santa Rosa is awaiting word from the UT Health Science Center on its proposal that would expand on its 40-year working relationship, by seeking an academic affiliation for its Children’s Hospital.
“I’m not at liberty to talk in detail about any of that, but there are other medical schools in the state of Texas,” Doderer said.
Doderer said she hopes to have an answer in about a month, since the UT Health Science Center will be weighing proposals from other hospitals.
“Can we support two free-standing academic children’s hospitals? That’s a tough question,” Doderer said.
Doderer said she is uncertain that both would be successful enough to compete on the national stage.
As a hospital administrator with a chronically ill child herself, Doderer said she is hopeful the community will rally behind a unified goal.
“A collaborative approach to establish the network of care that gives kids the best care possible in San Antonio, and helps eliminate the need for parents to seek care elsewhere,” Doderer said.
As it is now, Doderer said San Antonio has “great children’s care, but it’s all imbedded within adult health care hospitals.”
Come July 31, Doderer said Christus Santa Rosa no longer will offer adult services, with the exception of obstetrics, to build a hospital that will be exclusively for children.
“Physicians, staff, everyone associated with the hospital will be there to take care of the kids,” Doderer said.
She said the new hospital will have a much larger emergency department that already sees 70,000 pediatric cases yearly will go from Level 3 to Level 1, “something that San Antonio doesn’t actually have today,” along with more trauma rooms, and space to accommodate families.
Doderer said its neo-natal intensive care unit also will be greatly expanded with more private rooms available.
She also said the new hospital will offer more types of organ transplants, as well as bone marrow transplants.
“It is an incredible opportunity for the children of San Antonio,” Doderer said.
She said demolition of several buildings along San Saba is expected to begin in mid-August to make way for easier access to the hospital’s entrance.
Doderer said the 24-month construction process will be in phases.
“We will be able to build out the space that was vacated by the adult hospital and move children’s services into that space,” she said.
However, Doderer was quick to point the hospital iconic “Angel and Child” mural will remain untouched as its cornerstone.