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Breaking ground for groundbreaking health care

In the latest step to bring critical health care services closer to home for thousands of families, University Health broke ground Wednesday on Vida, a multi-specialty health care center and headquarters for the University Health Institute for Public Health.

“We are delighted to be investing in the future of families,” University Health President and CEO George B. Hernandez Jr. said, “and it is exciting to be part of the growth and tremendous opportunities on the South Side.”

Opening in 2026, the 3-story, 60,000-square-foot Vida will be the first building on the University Health Palo Alto Campus directly across from Texas A&M San Antonio. Construction will officially get under way in January on a community hospital and medical office building on this same campus.

Vida will increase much-needed access to prevention and primary care services for adults and children, as well as women’s health services and prenatal care. An entire floor will be devoted mental health services. Vida will also be headquarters for University Health’s Institute for Public Health. With key community partners, the institute will offer health education information and events, aimed at helping break the cycle of chronic disease that too many families struggle with today. The Institute for Public Health also serves as a critical hub for teams across all University Health locations, coordinating community resources to help patients achieve optimal health and eliminate health disparities in our county. Its mission is to connect people to resources that help them address barriers that make it harder to access work, healthy food and needed care.

“University Health has been providing life-saving hospital and trauma care, and we’ve expanded our primary and specialty care services to provide life-changing care,” said Carol Huber, deputy chief public health and equity officer for the Institute of Public Health. “The ground we break today helps us continue this tradition.”

Continuing to expand access to care in areas that have been underserved and have fast-growing populations like southern Bexar County is especially important, said Bexar County Commissioner Rebeca Clay-Flores.

“University Health Vida is a one-of-a-kind center that will be an important stepping stone for better health, economic development and, ultimately, a stronger community,” said Clay-Flores, who advocated for the county to provide $40 million in ARPA funds to help build Vida and the additional public health location on the East Side, expected to break ground next year.

Key to that stronger community is the ability to establish a medical home close to home, said Pat Jasso, member of the Bexar County Hospital District Board of Managers.

“This is important because the doctors, nurse practitioners and health care team here at Vida will carry out the mission of University Health every day,” Jasso said. “Our mission – to improve the good health of the community through high quality, compassionate care, innovation, education and discovery – is front and center in everything they will do here, one individual patient at a time.”

Affiliation agreements are another form of collaboration that create long-term benefits for families in southern Bexar County. These partnerships are a multiplier for all the strengths offered by the different institutions. University Health’s partnership with UT Health San Antonio dates back to 1968. They also partner with University of the Incarnate Word to expand opportunities to train more nurses for San Antonio and South Texas.

A year ago, University Health signed an affiliation agreement with Texas A&M San Antonio and Texas A&M Health Science Center. This created the foundation to expand health services and health care training to benefit the people of this community and to help build a pipeline of health professionals. The training opportunities will expand further with the opening of University Health Vida and the University Health Palo Alto Hospital, which is slated to open in 2027.


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

Vida health care center

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