University Health breaks ground on Palo Alto Hospital

Complex is slated to open in 2027

University Health broke ground Thursday on a forthcoming hospital campus near Texas A&M-San Antonio. The five-story complex is slated to open in 2027. (University Health)

SAN ANTONIO – San Antonio’s South Side will soon be home to a state-of-the-art hospital for a rapidly growing community.

University Health and Bexar County officials were on hand Thursday for the groundbreaking ceremony.

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Located next to Texas A&M-San Antonio’s campus, the 68-acre and five-story complex is slated to open in 2027 and carry 166 inpatient beds — which can be expanded to 286, a University Health press release said.

The hospital will also have a 24/7 emergency department, labor and delivery units, a NICU, operating rooms, and radiology and lab services.

University Health President & CEO George Hernández, Jr. reiterated the importance of the South Side having state-of-the-art health care access.

“The South Side has been underdeveloped for many years, that includes healthcare,” Hernández said. “For us to put a hospital here, (it will) be central to serving this community for many, many generations to come.”

Bexar County and University Health officials broke ground Thursday on a 68-acre hospital on the city's South Side. (University Health)

‘A true South Side medical center’

Community leaders at the ceremony quickly recognized two significant pillars of the coming complex — education and research.

“I suspect in the years ahead, people will look back and remember this was the first strategic step in developing a true South Side medical center,” Bexar County Precinct 1 Commissioner Rebeca Clay-Flores said.

Bexar County invested $40 million in a new public health multi-specialty building near the grounds of the new hospital, Clay-Flores said.

In December, construction began on the building, which will house the headquarters and care center for University Health’s Institute for Public Health. The institute will serve as a team hub across all of University Health’s locations.

The three-story, 60,000-square-foot building is slated to be completed in 2026.

District 4 Councilwoman Dr. Adriana Rocha Garcia commended the efforts to address health disparities and inequities on the South Side.

“I look forward to developing a comprehensive plan of action that includes partnerships with other entities committed to resolving the health disparities that impact residents in the southside,” she said.

Partnership with Texas A&M

The location of the forthcoming hospital is important, as it is close to nearby businesses and two colleges — Palo Alto College and Texas A&M-San Antonio.

“We think (the location) will help with the education of future generations of healthcare workers,” Hernández said.

Last year, University Health signed an agreement with the Texas A&M System Board of Regents, expediting a partnership to create a space for healthcare professionals, medical research and care for Bexar County residents.

The board of regents approved funding to build a $45 million College of Education and Public Health facility on the A&M-San Antonio campus, a University Health press release said.

“Texas A&M – San Antonio was created to serve the people of Texas, and this is exactly what this hospital and our partnership with them will do,” John Sharp, chancellor of the Texas A&M University System said.

About the Author

Mason Hickok is a digital producer trainee at KSAT. He graduated from the University of Texas at San Antonio with a communication degree and a minor in film studies. He also spent two years working at The Paisano, the independent student newspaper at UTSA. Outside of the newsroom, he enjoys the outdoors, walking his dogs and listening to podcasts.

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