Children's Hospital picked for Texas expansion

Posted: September 09, 2012

Children's Hospital of Philadelphia and a partner have been selected by the University of Texas to establish a pediatric hospital in San Antonio, the university's Board of Regents said Friday.

If a final agreement is reached with the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, Vanguard Health Systems Inc., a for-profit hospital operator based in Nashville, Tenn., will pay for the proposed $350 million, 250-bed facility. Children's Hospital of Philadelphia will help manage it.

Children's Hospital officials declined to provide any details or comment Friday.

Expanding to Texas would be a dramatic move for Children's, which spent nearly $2 billion building out its main University City campus from 2000 through 2010 and more developing an outpatient network in Southeastern Pennsylvania and in New Jersey as far north as New Brunswick.

A San Antonio outpost would give Children's a chance to serve a faster-growing population. The number of people in the San Antonio region climbed 28 percent between April 2000 and July 2011, to 2.2 million. The population of the Philadelphia area, including parts of Delaware and Maryland, grew 5 percent, to 6 million, over the same period.

The University of Texas System Board of Regents chose the Vanguard-Children's proposal over plans by two San Antonio institutions, the Christus Santa Rosa Health System and the Methodist Healthcare System. Vanguard's network of 28 hospitals includes the Baptist Health System in that city.

The Vanguard-Children's plan won because it promises a "coordinated regional network" and was deemed to be "best aligned" with the University of Texas Health Science Center's teaching and research missions, a university news release said.

The plan will allow the "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," said Kenneth L. Kalkwarf, interim president of the San Antonio health science center.

Contact Harold Brubaker at 215-854-4651 or

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