Palmira Arellano, Methodist Healthcare 210-325-2295
Will Sansom, UT Health Science Center 210-567-2579
San Antonio’s top pediatric leaders join forces to
enhance health care services for children in the region
San Antonio, TX – September 6, 2013 - The Methodist Healthcare System of San Antonio (MHS) and The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio today signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to explore and identify opportunities to affiliate to provide pre-eminent pediatric care, academic training and research in San Antonio and the South Texas region.
The MOU calls for a 90-day negotiation period that may ultimately lead to the signing of a definitive agreement to form a comprehensive children’s health care delivery system for San Antonio and South Texas.
Both parties have considerable experience and resources. The Health Science Center is the South Texas leader in providing pediatric education for current and future pediatric health care providers through the Department of Pediatrics in the School of Medicine. MHS owns and operates the Methodist Children’s Hospital, a campus of Methodist Hospital, which is the region’s largest provider of pediatric health care in an environment exclusively designed for children in San Antonio, South Texas and beyond.
The MOU signed today by both operating entities, and supported by the leadership of The University of Texas System and the MHS Board of Governors, covers nine key areas of
collaboration: relationship of the involved parties, medical education and training, clinical care, research, facilities, network development, leadership/governance, access to information and interconnected technology. All of the key areas are priorities, particularly when addressing access to information and interconnected medical information systems; both MHS and the Health Science Center understand that a comprehensive electronic medical record reduces duplication of services and potential for errors, and provides young patients with a medical home.
“The goals and priorities that Methodist Healthcare and the Health Science Center have laid out reflect our shared priorities in joining forces to deliver the best pediatric care, medical education and academic research for the children of South Texas,” said William L. Henrich, M.D., MACP, president of the Health Science Center. “We are reaching literally across the street to collaborate and build the best possible network for the region, with its anchor right here in the South Texas Medical Center.”
“There is no question in our minds this new opportunity between MHS and the Health Science Center is the strongest and most viable solution to enhancing care for all children in our region. The combination of both organizations that have been the pediatric leaders in their fields for many years will create a new delivery model comparable to the most well-known children’s hospitals in the U.S.,” stated Jaime Wesolowski, president and CEO of Methodist Healthcare.
Over the next 90 days, MHS and the Health Science Center will develop a definitive agreement. In doing so, MHS and the Health Science Center will seek input from all stakeholders. Additionally, the Health Science Center will lead in exploring ways to further collaborate with the University Health System to better meet the pediatric needs of San Antonio and South Texas.
Because these negotiations continue to be confidential, no further statements will be issued from representatives of either organization until the agreement is ready for official signatures.
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About Methodist Children’s Hospital
Methodist Children’s Hospital opened in 1998 as the first children’s hospital in South Texas designed and built from the ground up to meet the needs of children and their families. The hospital has the area’s largest pediatric emergency department with 32 treatment rooms and more than 73,000 visits last year alone. Methodist Children’s Hospital is among the nation’s largest providers of marrow and stem cell transplants. A new hybrid operating room opened recently that gives surgeons the equipment needed to perform complex heart surgeries. The hospital maintains three Methodist AirCare™ helicopters to transport newborns, children and pregnant women from all parts of South Texas to Methodist Children’s Hospital so they can receive a higher level of care that may be needed in a medical crisis. Methodist Children’s Hospital maintains children’s specialty clinics to ensure children receive the outpatient care they need for complex illnesses in a single location. To learn more, visit www.MHSChildrens.com.
About Methodist Healthcare System – San Antonio
Methodist Healthcare System was formed in 1995 as a 50-50 co-ownership between the Methodist Healthcare Ministries and HCA. It is the largest and most preferred provider of health care in South and Central Texas with 26 facilities including nine hospitals serving 90,000 inpatients and 390,000 outpatients annually. The Methodist Healthcare team is comprised of 8,000 employees, making Methodist Healthcare the second largest private employer in San Antonio. In 2012, Methodist Healthcare was one of only two hospitals in Texas recognized by the Texas Medical Foundation with a Gold Award for Quality. Methodist Healthcare has won the National Research Foundation’s Consumer Choice Award for 13 consecutive years, more times than any other health care provider in Texas. For the past four years, Methodist Healthcare has received “Best Hospital” Gold Award by the San Antonio Express-News’ Readers’ Choice Awards. With more than 2,700 credentialed physicians, Methodist Healthcare provides the largest array of medical services in the region including neurosurgery, cardiovascular services, orthopedics, oncology and women’s services. Visit www.SAHealth.com to learn more.
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 National Institutes of Health funding. The university’s schools of medicine, nursing, dentistry, health professions and graduate biomedical sciences have produced more than 29,000 graduates. The $736 million operating budget supports eight campuses in San Antonio, Laredo, Harlingen and Edinburg. For current news from the UT Health Science Center San Antonio, please visit our news release website or follow us on Twitter @uthscsa. For more information on the many ways “We make lives better®,” visit www.uthscsa.edu.