CHRISTUS to convert a San Antonio campus into a children's hospital

June 1, 2012

CHRISTUS Santa Rosa Health System of San Antonio plans to convert one of its five hospitals into a children's hospital by 2014.

Currently, the CHRISTUS Santa Rosa Hospital-City Centre campus in downtown San Antonio includes both a full-service hospital and a children's facility called CHRISTUS Santa Rosa Children's Hospital. The $135 million renovation project set to start later this month will transform the campus into a freestanding pediatric facility called the Children's Hospital of San Antonio. The children's hospital will remain open during the renovation.

The conversion project will enable the children's hospital to improve the clinical care it offers, its educational programs for clinicians and its research capabilities. The children's hospital is an academic teaching hospital for the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio School of Medicine. CHRISTUS administrators said the conversion will allow the health science center to expand its teaching programs.

Through the renovation, the children's hospital will redesign treatment areas; offer all-private rooms; add new spaces for education; expand its emergency department and potentially become a Level 1 trauma facility; expand its research space and add new research programs particularly in the areas of cancer, cystic fibrosis and diabetes; and enhance its pediatric kidney, cardiac and spinal disease programs. The children's hospital also will add a maternal fetal medicine program and expand its capacity to handle high-risk deliveries. The children's hospital's current bed count is 250; after the conversion that count is not expected to exceed 275.

CHRISTUS Santa Rosa's vision is for the children's hospital to serve as a hub for a network of children's services throughout San Antonio.

The CHRISTUS Santa Rosa system is transferring adult services currently provided at CHRISTUS Santa Rosa-City Centre to other CHRISTUS Santa Rosa facilities in a phased process that likely will end in mid-August. Those facilities have a combined 1,100 beds and are at about 47 percent capacity.

CHRISTUS Santa Rosa administrators said San Antonio's pediatric population is increasing, in part due to some large companies and military facilities moving into the area. An assessment revealed that San Antonio's pediatric care system is insufficient to meet the needs. CHRISTUS leaders said increasing the children's hospital's capabilities should remedy that situation and also should help attract and retain pediatric health care providers.

CHRISTUS Santa Rosa had signed a letter of intent to partner with the University Health System of San Antonio on a free-standing children's hospital and network of pediatric services, but the University Health System ended negotiations earlier this year and CHRISTUS chose to go forward on its own.


Copyright © 2012 by the Catholic Health Association of the United States
For reprint permission, contact Betty Crosby or call (314) 253-3477.

Copyright © 2012 by the Catholic Health Association of the United States

For reprint permission, contact Betty Crosby or call (314) 253-3490.