Mayor wants top-ranked children's hospital in SA

Philadelphia-based hospital looking to create Texas facility

Published On: Apr 20 2012 09:34:34 PM CDT   Updated On: Apr 21 2012 09:45:00 PM CDT

The top-ranked Children's Hospital of Philadelphia is trying to build a similar critical care facility in San Antonio and Mayor Henry Cisneros is one of the plans strongest supporters.

When Cisneros' son, John Paul, was born, doctors gave him some terrible news.

"When John Paul was born, we were told the very first night that there was no chance that he would live," Cisneros said.

Along with his wife, Mary Alice, Cisneros took his infant, born with a heart defect, to the finest surgeon they could find.

Now, John Paul Cisneros, 25, is a "buffed up, strong, athletic young man," and working as an analyst with JP Morgan in New York, his father said.

Cisneros said his son regards Children's Hospital of Philadelphia as "his second birth, his second home," after undergoing surgery there when he was only six-years-old.

Now, the nationally-recognized facility is working with Vanguard Health Systems of Tennessee, which owns the Baptist Health System in San Antonio, on a joint proposal to build a critical care children's hospital in San Antonio.

"Then, arguably we will have the strongest children's complex in Texas," Cisneros said.

The mayor said for now he is staying out of what could be a tug of war, after CHRISTUS Santa Rosa Children's Hospital announced Friday that it will now be called the Children's Hospital of San Antonio.

Still, he said the children of South Texas, and even Mexico, deserve the best medical care possible.

"I can tell you from a personal standpoint, it makes all the difference in the world for families," Cisneros said.