The Children’s Hospital of San Antonio marked its first anniversary Tuesday with blessings for its patients, physicians and staff offered by from Archbishop Gustavo Garcia-Siller.
Before sprinkling holy water on many of those gathered in the hospital lobby, the Archbishop prayed, “May the Lord Jesus, who commanded his disciples to heal the sick and bring them relief, be with you all.”
Founded 144 years ago by three Sisters of the Incarnate Word, what had been CHRISTUS-Santa Rosa downtown last year became the city’s first freestanding children’s hospital not connected to an adult facility.
Now in the midst of a major $400 million expansion without interrupting patient care, the hospital is now in collaboration with Baylor College of Medicine and Texas Children’s Hospital in Houston.
Dr. Mark Gilger, the hospital’s new pediatrician in chief and Baylor College of Medicine vice chair for pediatrics in San Antonio, announced 45 specialists have been recruited.
He said they are the first of 100 by the end of the year, and that number is expected to double by the time the new hospital is completed by early 2015.
Yet even as the Children’s Hospital of San Antonio is making strides downtown, the UT-Health Science Center is still trying to create a children’s hospital in the Medical Center.
After its partnership with the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia recently fell through, UTHSC is now in negotiations with Methodist Healthcare that already has a children’s hospital in that area.
A spokesman for the UTHSC said those negotiations remain confidential.
“From our perspective, it doesn’t change anything that we’re doing at this point,” said Randy Wright, the new administrator for the Children’s Hospital of San Antonio.
Wright, who had been the chief operating officer of Texas Children’s Hospital, said, “I think Methodist stepping up to provide some support is probably the right thing for the community. I think we all want to do what’s right for the community.”