University Health Response to Steward Health March 1, 2023 News Release

University Health has been committed to the health of the Bexar County community for more than 100 years, and has been expanding rapidly over the past 20 years to ensure residents across the community – including those without access to affordable health coverage – have access to high quality care. 

As a matter of policy, University Health does not discuss the status of any negotiations and/or transactions. We can say for certain that these two for-profit, publically traded companies have not given University Health any opportunity to “take over control” of Texas Vista Medical Center under mutually acceptable terms that are in the best interests of the taxpayers of this community. 

While we are not able to release any details of conversations or analysis, it has become increasingly clear that our mission and values are not aligned with Medical Properties Trust, the real estate investment trust (REIT), which owns the assets of Texas Vista Medical Center and collects lease payments from Steward Health, who operates the hospital.

We can share that a consideration in this decision was the state of the hospital and its future lifespan. The building is more than 40 years old and would require significant renovation and IT upgrades to bring it up to University Health standards. The lifespan of a hospital is generally about 50 years due to continually changing technologies. Fortunately, University Health is already in the process of constructing a new state-of-the art community hospital on the Southside on property across from Texas A & M. These plans are well on their way as architects are already on board and the Bexar County Hospital District Board of Managers will review and is expected to approve a construction manager at its March meeting.

Our priority at this point in time, given today’s confirmation that Texas Vista will be closing as of May 1, is to work in collaboration with health systems and partners across the community to:

  • Ensure patients are assisted in accessing high quality care at another facility, especially patients in need of behavioral health services
  • Work with the University of the Incarnate Word School of Medicine to develop plans for resident physicians serving at Texas Vista to be moved to other local graduate medical education programs
  • Encourage Texas Vista staff members to apply for the many open positions with University Health and other health care organizations who are all actively recruiting.

We are disappointed that these two for-profit companies made the decision to identify University Health and Bexar County as somehow being responsible for their inability to successfully operate Texas Vista, and to imply that local taxpayers should bail them out. Statements included on their press release about University Health’s mission, strategic priorities, commitment to the underserved and finances are inaccurate.

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