University Health continues expanding services with hospital groundbreaking on Northeast Side

Dignitaries break ground for Retama Hospital

Today, University Health marked another milestone in its expansion of services with the groundbreaking of a 166-bed acute care, full-service hospital and medical office building near Lookout Road and Retama Parkway along the I-35 corridor in Selma. In anticipation of even more people moving to the area, University Health Retama is being built for expansion to 268 beds.

George Hernández, Jr., president & CEO for University Health, said the Retama complex will transform both the health care options for patients and the economy of the surrounding area.

“I want to touch on the most important outcome of those facilities: the hundreds of health care workers who will bring high-quality, compassionate patient care to this community.” Hernández said. He added that University Health will hire a significant number of employees to care for those patients.

“We estimate that 500-600 caring and compassionate doctors, nurses, and staff from University Health and our partner organizations will work at these facilities,” he said.

State-of-the-art services to meet future needs

When it opens in 2027, the 42-acre University Health Retama Hospital campus will be home to a modern five-story hospital and a 100,000-square-foot medical office building. Services will include a 24/7 Emergency Department, a labor and delivery unit, NICU, inpatient units, operating rooms, radiology and lab services. The construction cost is estimated to be $450 million.

The Retama groundbreaking is the most recent in a series of new University Health construction starts that began in December with the construction of Vida, a multi-specialty health care center and headquarters for the University Health Institute for Public Health on the South Side. That was followed in January with the first shoveling of dirt for University Health Palo Alto Hospital located adjacent to Vida, on a 68-acre campus next door to Texas A&M San Antonio. The Palo Alto and Retama hospitals incorporate the same design and services.

This spring, construction is set to begin for University Health Wheatley, another public health and primary care facility on the East Side at I-10 and Loop 410.

A continued commitment to health care in northeastern Bexar County

University Health Chief Operating Officer Ed Banos said the building of Retama Hospital follows recent efforts to offer primary and specialty health care on the North East side where people would otherwise have to travel long distances for services. The Naco-Perrin and Oakwell clinics are providing primary and specialty treatments. In March, University Health will help to open a surgery center at Morgan’s MAC, and it’s planning to open a school-based clinic with Judson ISD.

“As we turn this first dirt, we are embracing the potential for a healthier community,” said Bexar County Judge Peter Sakai. “This location is strategic, given the growth and the need for more specialists and hospital services right here – closer to home for a large segment of our population.“

Dr. Dianna Burns-Banks, a member of the Bexar County Hospital District Board of Managers, stressed the importance of the Retama Hospital being directly linked to the academic medical centers at University Hospital and University Health Women’s & Children’s Hospital in the Medical Center.

“That is where we operate South Texas’ only Level I trauma center for both adults and children, a comprehensive stroke center, and the highest level maternity center and NICU,” she said, referring to the advanced care to which the Retama patients will be connected.

Precinct 4 Commissioner Tommy Calvert said the residents of this area, which he represents, need and will appreciate the nearby medical services Retama will provide close to where they live.

“Over the past year, this strategic priority has been planted and now it’s beginning to bud,” he observed.

See artist renderings of the hospital:

Retama Hospital Proposed Map

About University Health

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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