Christus Santa Rosa Health System is pushing ahead with plans to transform its downtown campus into a $135-million children's hospital because it's concluded that it doesn't have much of a choice. When University Health System spiked development talks in late February and announced it would field offers from other healthcare providers, the Catholic nonprofit system had to move fast to try to maintain its strong position in pediatric care in San Antonio.
The taxpayer-supported UHS' other offers are in the works. Vanguard Health Systems of Tennessee, owner of Baptist hospitals here, is nailing down a deal with Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. Methodist Healthcare System, the city's biggest provider of pediatric subspecialty services, such as cardiology and neurology, is said to be piecing together a proposal of its own.
But so far Christus' plan is the only one on the table.
It's still a mystery how all of this will play out. Could Christus somehow fall back into the arms of UHS? Could two new children's hospitals rise over SA?
Here's another major potential outcome: the UT Health Science Center at San Antonio would no longer be the only academic game in town when it comes to training physicians and pediatric research.