From Jaime Wesolowski
President and CEO, Methodist Healthcare System
Earlier today, University of Texas Health Science Center (UTHSC) officials announced plans to develop a free-standing children’s hospital with Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and Vanguard, the parent company of Baptist Health System. Both Methodist Healthcare and CHRISTUS Santa Rosa submitted plans to the UTHSC board for consideration as well.
For close to 50 years, Methodist Healthcare has placed the health status of children in South Texas first, from our beginnings in 1963 as the first hospital built in the South Texas Medical Center, to today as the largest provider of children’s health care in the region through the Methodist Children’s Hospital.
When asked by the University Health System and UTHSC to participate in developing even better health care for children in the region, Methodist Healthcare System and the Methodist Healthcare Ministries jumped at the chance. Our proposal committed several hundreds of millions of dollars in new infrastructure and services to include doubling the size of our pediatric emergency department, a new eight-story tower dedicated to expanding the capacity of Methodist Children’s Hospital, an academic training site for UTHSC, and a special children’s annex and clinic services, as well. Enhanced pediatric clinical and emergency services were also going to be added to Metropolitan Methodist Hospital to ensure a commitment to a downtown children’s presence. A regional network of outpatient children’s clinics was also presented.
The Methodist Healthcare Ministries, a 50 percent owner of the Methodist Healthcare System, proposed to create an endowment for children’s services up to $300 million over 10 years. They also committed to contribute 50 percent of distributions received from the children’s hospital to sustain this endowment. The purpose of this funding was to recruit and retain the best pediatric subspecialists for the San Antonio area.
More important than infrastructure and clinical enhancements was also the support given to this initiative by the private practice physicians associated with Methodist Children’s Hospital which included their desire to enter into a shared governance model with UTHSC. We worked closely with our pediatric medical staff throughout the process of developing a proposal and I commend them for putting children first. We are truly blessed to work with these outstanding physicians who possess the highest integrity.
Today’s announcement does not change Methodist Healthcare’s commitment to the health status of children in San Antonio and South Texas. Today we provide more health care resources to our most precious and vulnerable citizens than anyone else. For tomorrow, and the tomorrows there after, that commitment will not change.
Ours is a faith-based ministry. Our commitment is based on service to God. We cannot think of a more important part of our community that requires our continued obligation to become better, more compassionate, and more inclusive. The physicians and staff that make Methodist Children’s Hospital what it is today share this same obligation.
This important collaboration of physicians, nursing and operations, community and faith is at the heart of the Methodist Children’s Hospital success story, and we promise nothing less to San Antonio and South Texas in the future.
Read the Methodist Healthcare plan that was submitted to University Health System and UTHSC.