SAN ANTONIO – The University of Texas System Board of Regents today authorized The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio (UTHSC-San Antonio) to execute an agreement with Nashville-based Vanguard Health Systems to bring a new, state-of-the-art children’s hospital to San Antonio. The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP), one of the nation’s top-ranked children’s hospitals, will join Vanguard in the administration of the San Antonio facility.
Kenneth L. Kalkwarf, D.D.S., M.S. , president ad interim of UTHSC-San Antonio, said the agreement would be a tremendous step toward enhancing world-class pediatric care in San Antonio and South Texas and will provide students and medical residents with transformational educational and research experiences as future pediatric health care providers working in the region.
“Having multiple specialists in a single location will allow the new children’s hospital to deliver the best possible care to children with complex medical cases and enhance the recruitment and retention of the best specialists in the country who want to work at an academic children’s hospital with ongoing, groundbreaking research,” Kalkwarf said.
The UT regents considered three proposals but determined that Vanguard’s would best serve the needs of patients and families in South Texas, building a coordinated regional network with expertise offered by CHOP to provide the highest quality preventative, primary, subspecialty and urgent care to families throughout the region. The Vanguard proposal was also determined to be best aligned with UTHSC-San Antonio’s teaching and research missions in serving the needs of the university’s medical students and faculty.
When exploring all proposals, the regents came to the conclusion that a relationship with Vanguard and CHOP offered the best combination for outstanding care of pediatric patients, an ideal venue in which to educate next-generation physicians and important proximity to medical research institutes.
“We are extremely excited about this decision,” Regents’ Chairman Gene Powell  said. “UT Health Science Center – San Antonio can now move forward with its vision of building a new tier one children’s hospital and pediatric care network that will revolutionize access and quality of care for all children in San Antonio and South Texas and contribute to the exceptional education of medical and health profession students.”
Vanguard’s plan in partnership with CHOP will create the opportunity to align ambulatory clinics from all over South Texas and San Antonio to streamline pediatric care by creating an electronic medical records system that allows for seamless continuity of care for patients from the clinic to the hospital.
“Realizing the dream of a stand-alone children’s hospital in San Antonio adjacent to the medical school would not be possible without the generosity of the San Antonio Medical Foundation,” Powell added. The foundation is providing 15 acres next to UTHSC-San Antonio’s Medical Arts & Research Center (MARC) for the new facility, allowing pediatric faculty and students the opportunity to work and train in a hospital only one block from the medical school. This site will also allow the research and clinical programs to be across the street from other facilities on campus such as the MARC, Greehey Children’s Cancer Research Institute, Center for Oral Health and Research, the South Texas Research Facility, the McDermott Research Imaging Center and the Cancer Therapy Research Center -- one of Texas’ four NCI-designated cancer centers.
The UTHSC-San Antonio campus is located in one of the most burgeoning centers of population growth in San Antonio, so the hospital’s location will offer great access and convenience to patients and their families. The new hospital will be just minutes away from physicians at UTHSC-San Antonio.
The proposed $350 million, 250-bed facility, funded by Vanguard, will be designed and built specifically for children’s most pressing medical needs, anchoring a network of clinics that provide access to top pediatric care throughout the region. Along with Vanguard and CHOP, UTHSC-San Antonio will bring to the partnership faculty from UT Medicine San Antonio – the practice plan of the School of Medicine – who will offer both general and specialty care to children and adolescents. The faculty members will also lead medical students, residents and fellows in instruction and cutting-edge research.
Kalkwarf expressed gratitude for the longstanding partnership between the university and CHRISTUS Santa Rosa Children’s Hospital, expressing a desire to continue to work collaboratively with them in patient care.
About The University of Texas System
Educating students, providing care for patients, conducting groundbreaking research and serving the needs of Texans and the nation for more than 130 years, The University of Texas System is one of the largest public university systems in the United States, with nine academic universities and six health science centers. Student enrollment exceeded 215,000 in the 2011 academic year. The UT System confers more than one-third of the state’s undergraduate degrees and educates nearly three-fourths of the state’s health care professionals annually. The UT System has an annual operating budget of $13.1 billion (FY 2012) including $2.3 billion in sponsored programs funded by federal, state, local and private sources. With roughly 87,000 employees, the UT System is one of the largest employers in the state. www.utsystem.edu 
The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, one of the country’s leading health sciences universities, ranks in the top 3 percent of all institutions worldwide receiving federal funding. Research and other sponsored program activity totaled $231 million in fiscal year 2011. The university’s schools of medicine, nursing, dentistry, health professions and graduate biomedical sciences have produced approximately 28,000 graduates. For more information on the many ways “We make lives better®,” visit www.uthscsa.edu .
UT Medicine San Antonio is the clinical practice of the School of Medicine at the UT Health Science Center San Antonio. With more than 700 doctors – all School of Medicine faculty – UT Medicine is the largest medical practice in Central and South Texas. Expertise is in more than 100 medical specialties and subspecialties. Primary care doctors and specialists see patients in private practice at UT Medicine’s flagship clinical home, the Medical Arts & Research Center (MARC), located at 8300 Floyd Curl Drive, San Antonio 78229; www.utmedicine.org .
Vanguard Health Systems, Inc. owns and operates 28 acute care and specialty hospitals and complementary facilities and services in metropolitan Chicago, Illinois; metropolitan Phoenix, Arizona; metropolitan Detroit, Michigan; San Antonio, Texas; Harlingen and Brownsville, Texas; and Worcester and metropolitan Boston, Massachusetts. Vanguard owns the Baptist Health System which operates five hospitals in San Antonio and is building a sixth in New Braunfels. The company’s strategy is to develop locally branded, comprehensive healthcare delivery networks in urban markets. Vanguard embraces the principles of non-profit health care and marries them with the business acumen of a privately owned organization. www.vanguardhealth.com 
Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia was founded in 1855 as the nation's first hospital devoted exclusively to caring for children, The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia has been the birthplace for many dramatic firsts in pediatric medicine and has fostered medical discoveries and innovations that have improved pediatric healthcare and saved countless children’s lives. Ranking No. 1 in six of 10 specialties, The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia has more No. 1 rankings than any other children’s hospital in the nation, according to U.S.News & World Report’s 2012-13 survey of Best Children’s Hospitals. www.chop.edu