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It’s Day One for University Health Women’s & Children’s Hospital

At 2 a.m. this morning, teams of University Health staff began a carefully coordinated transfer of the tiniest patients from the NICU of University Hospital to the new, state-of-the-art NICU at University Health Women’s & Children’s Hospital. They were followed at 3 a.m. by the first group of pediatric patients, and at 5 a.m. by expecting mothers. The Children’s Emergency Department was set to open for patients at 5 a.m. – but quickly received two patients as soon as the marquee lights turned on at 4:30 a.m. – and the hospital’s 24/7 Women’s Center for OB/GYN emergencies opened at 7 a.m.

“This kind of move requires an extraordinary amount of planning and collaboration,” said Irene Sandate, chief nursing officer at University Health Women’s & Children’s Hospital. “We’ve been working on this plan for many months – the dedication of multiple teams shows in how we’ve been able to execute it.”

Watch B roll and interview.

The process of moving fragile and premature babies took many hours of discussion and preparation. No less complex are the pediatric patient moves, particularly those who came to us through our Level I pediatric trauma center, and the patients in women’s services – OB/GYN, labor and delivery, and postpartum patients. Each category of patients is being moved in small groups, allowing nurses and staff to settle one group of patients into their new rooms before the next arrives. We expect the moves to continue through 8:30 p.m.

The mothers-to-be – and the entire hospital staff – are also eagerly watching for who will be the first baby born in the new hospital, as that lucky baby is slated to receive a long list of celebratory welcome gifts. Look for a press release. With an average of 400 babies a month coming into the world with University Health, that release is likely to go out later today.

Moving day has been eagerly anticipated since even before ground was broken on the new site next to University Hospital in November 2019. The 14-story, 300-bed hospital will offer a new home for the advanced care we already provide mothers, babies and children, including the Level IV maternity center, and the Level IV NICU – the most advanced designations by the State of Texas. The hospital features:

  • Private NICU rooms so families can be more comfortable and stay longer with their babies
  • 24/7 Women’s Center
  • Dedicated new pediatric emergency room
  • Spacious labor and delivery suites
  • Large postpartum rooms
  • A Mother’s Place with customized nutrition support for newborns and lactation support for mothers
  • Dedicated Child Life Center where children can play and relax, and even learn about their procedures, reducing anxiety
  • Advanced maternal and neonatal care in warm and welcoming spaces

In perfect timing with the move is the announcement of our inclusion in 2024 Best Hospitals for Maternity Care by U.S. News & World Report. University Health’s maternity care program earned the highest possible rating, “High Performing,” for maternity care.

The rating indicates performance that is well above average on several important and objective quality measures, such as rates of unexpected complications, C-sections, and exclusive breast milk feeding. Only 311 hospitals in the U.S. earned a High Performing rating.

Taking these top-notch services into the new state-of-the-art facility today enables these experienced teams to provide that highest level of care in spaces designed exclusively for these unique groups of patients, and also provides much more space to meet the needs of South Texas’ rapidly growing population.

One of the many tasks involved in planning and building the new hospital is making sure people can find their way around. To that end, the UH Go app has been updated with wayfinding throughout the University Health Main Campus, and can be accessed through the QR code below.


UH Go helps patients and visitors navigate from home to parking and remember their parking spot. It then helps them find their destination in the hospitals and clinics, including rooms, services, restrooms, amenities, and even to enjoy and learn about the fine art that is part of our SaludArte Art of Healing program.

B-roll of the move is included with this release, interviews of hospital leadership can be scheduled through the Corporate Communications PR team, and stand-ups are welcome particularly from the University Health staff parking lot (please do not park in the clinic parking lot next to it). Please fill out the parking pass attached and set on your windshield if you choose to do this.


University Health is the only locally owned health system in San Antonio. For more than 100 years, University Health has been here to heal, improve health, train the next generation of medical professionals and ensure the people of San Antonio, Bexar County and South Texas have access to primary and advanced specialty care close to home. Specialized services include the region’s only Level I trauma center for both adults and children, and maternal and neonatal intensive care centers designated at the highest levels by the State of Texas. As the region’s only academic health system, University Health is a hub of innovation and discovery, committed to delivering patient-centered, culturally competent, high-quality and compassionate care, based on a strong foundation of outcomes‐based research and innovative teaching. Learn more at

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