New Hospital to Advance Cancer Care by Delivering Innovative Services
Cancer care, research, rehabilitation and survivorship programs at the Mays Cancer Center will usher in a game-changing, fundamental shift to proactive, personalized medicine with the creation of the new UT Health San Antonio Multispecialty & Research Hospital, which was approved by the UT System Board of Regents in 2020.
The Board of Regents authorized the expenditure of $398.8 million for the hospital from Revenue Financing System Bond Proceeds, Permanent University Fund Bond Proceeds, and gifts. The total investment in the project is estimated to be approximately $450 million. Ground was broken in the spring of 2021 with plans for the hospital to open in the fall of 2024.
The new hospital will be the first in the region to offer this level of leading, research-based multispecialty patient care. It will offer novel therapies and treatments that redefine medicine by focusing on predicting, preventing and curing disease precisely.
Primarily dedicated to comprehensive cancer services, the eight-story,140-bed hospital will be located at the corner of Floyd Curl Drive and Wurzbach Road — just across from the cancer center. The new hospital and Mays Cancer Center will be connected by a covered, raised, climate-controlled pedestrian bridge over Floyd Curl Drive.
The hospital also will offer dedicated patient care services in neurology, ENT, urology, orthopaedics, spine, thoracic surgery and bariatrics.
Ruben A. Mesa, MD, FACP, executive director of the Mays Cancer Center, said the specialty hospital will allow UT Health San Antonio and the Mays Cancer Center to expand their shared missions of research and patient care with a focus on cancer.
“The hospital will bring highly specialized multispecialty teams together to advance patient care and research,” he said. “The hospital is crucial for being able to offer in-patient trials. By having in-patient capabilities, we can offer cellular-based therapies, Phase I clinical trials, and new technologies in surgical care.”
The hospital also will allow the cancer center to continue to expand its integrated cancer rehabilitation program, Dr. Mesa explained. “We want to help patients who have fought cancer so they can regain their daily activities.”
Since its partnership with MD Anderson Cancer Center, UT Health San Antonio has been working diligently to expedite the level of treatment offered in San Antonio and South Texas. “From diagnosis to treatment to biobanking cancer specimens for research to clinical trials to survivorship, we are dedicated to finding innovative ways to prevent, treat and recover from cancer,” he said.
The hospital will allow the Mays Cancer Center to provide cancer treatment so residents can stay close to home to get leading cancer care, Dr. Mesa explained. “This will help us reach our goal of becoming a National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center. This designation would further elevate us on the national map as a cancer center of excellence.”
A Comprehensive Cancer Center is the highest federal rating offered by the National Cancer Institute. This designation is considered the gold standard for cancer programs in recognition of innovative laboratory, clinical and population-based research, leading cancer treatments, education and community outreach programs. The Mays Cancer Center has been an NCI-designated Cancer Center since 1991.
William L. Henrich, MD, MACP, president of UT Heath San Antonio, said the shared vision to build the UT Health San Antonio Multispecialty & Research Hospital will be transformative for the community.
“It conveys our collective commitment to provide first-class care to everyone. All of San Antonio’s citizens should be able to have the opportunity to receive such care close to home,” he said. “Community support for a project of this scale is essential. It is a historic time for San Antonio. I believe with all my heart this is the path we must take to provide the people of this community with the health care they need and deserve.”
Robert Hromas, MD, FACP, dean of the Joe R. and Teresa Lozano Long School of Medicine at UT Health San Antonio, said this hospital will provide cutting-edge therapies not available anywhere else in the area.
“We will invent and test new drugs and devices here. This will bring hope to patients who may have complex, difficult to treat diseases who have nowhere else to turn,” he added.