100th Anniversary

For 100 years, University Health System has served a vital role in our community — providing outstanding care to those who need it, training the next generation of health professionals and working to find new and better treatments through research. Over the course of that history, we’ve followed a core set of values that guides and defines us.

Our story begins in 1917 with the opening of the Robert B. Green Memorial Hospital on Leona Street — named for a crusading county judge and state senator who died from a heart attack at the young age of 42. San Antonio was booming — the largest city in Texas at the time, and still growing with thousands of troops massing at the start of World War I, and thousands of refugees fleeing the Mexican Revolution. A charity hospital was needed, and the city and county each contributed half the $250,000 required to build it. The hospital opened just in time to care for victims of the influenza epidemic of 1918.

A focus on children

A new Children’s Pavilion opens at Medical Center Hospital, the same year as the first pediatric kidney transplant is performed there. The following year, a Fetal Diagnostic Unit would open.

The tiniest patients

A 77-bed Neonatal Intensive Care Unit opens at Medical Center Hospital, the same year as the area’s first pediatric heart transplant is performed.

A shuttered hospital finds new purpose

The Lutheran General Hospital on Zarzamora Street, the West Side’s only hospital, closes its doors after years of financial losses. The site is purchased by the Bexar County Hospital District for $1.1 million and will become the world-renowned Texas Diabetes Institute.

A new name for a new era

The Bexar County Hospital District becomes University Health System, and the hospital is renamed University Hospital, to create a stronger public association with its academic mission. As the same time, a focus on preventive health leads to creation of Community First Health Plans, the area’s only nonprofit, locally owned health maintenance organization. Prevention is also behind the growth of its ambulatory network. Its first neighborhood health center moves into a permanent home on S.W. 36th Street and becomes University Family Health Center — Southwest. Another neighborhood clinic opens on Basse Road.

Fast response and restoring lives

University Health System joins Baptist Health System as a co-sponsor of San Antonio’s AirLife helicopter ambulance service. The Reeves Rehabilitation Center, named after former Bexar County Judge Blair Reeves, opens at University Hospital.

A focus on the uninsured

CareLink, a financial assistance program to provide both primary care and access to specialists for Bexar County residents without affordable options for health insurance, is launched. The innovative program would become a national model, with support on all sides of the political spectrum.

A place for the seriously injured

University Hospital is verified by the American College of Surgeons as a level I trauma center, the same year the Surgical Trauma Intensive Care Unit opens at University Hospital.

Innovation in teaching kids about health

The H-E-B Body Adventure Powered by University Health System opens at the Witte Museum, teaching children about how their bodies work and encouraging healthy habits.

Renewing an historic partnership

University Health System and the UT Health Science Center renew historic ties with a long-term affiliation agreement.

Highest level of care for injured kids

University Hospital is verified as a level I pediatric trauma center by the American College of Surgeons, an elite designation that demonstrates it provides the highest level of care available to the children of South Texas

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