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.

1915-01-01 00:00:00

The journey begins

A groundbreaking ceremony is held for the new Robert B. Green Memorial Hospital at Leona and Frio streets. George Green, son of the crusading county judge and hospital’s namesake, lays the hospital’s cornerstone.

1916-01-01 00:00:00

A school for nurses

The Robert B. Green School of Nursing is established. Financial struggles that also plagued the hospital would cause the nursing school to shut down operations from 1933 to 1937, when it reopened for another decade.

1917-01-10 00:00:00

First patient admitted

The Robert B. Green opens its doors to patients on Feb. 2 — the day after a grand opening celebration attracts an estimated 4,000-5,000 local residents to tour its wards. The hospital cost $250,000, with the city and county each providing $125,000 through the sale of bonds. The first patient was a woman admitted for inflammation of the fallopian tubes.

1930-01-01 00:00:00

A charitable mission

After a devastating tornado strikes the town of Runge, nine victims are treated at the Robert B. Green. While charitable organizations agree to pay their hospital bills, the Board of Managers refuses to accept payment, laying the foundation of the hospital’s mission to serve in times of crisis.

1931-06-14 08:40:30

New funds for a growing demand

The Medical and Surgical Hospital on nearby Camden Street closes its doors, increasing the patient volume at the Robert B. Green. One cent out of the 25 cents collected for the General Fund Tax is allocated to cover operating expenses for the Green. Even so, the hospital struggles financially in the face of increasing demand.

1946-01-01 06:52:25

The polio epidemic

With polio an epidemic nationwide and at home, a grant-funded polio ward at the Green is at capacity. When the hospital is forced to close the following year, the polio ward will continue to operate within its walls.

1947-10-01 13:26:11

The hospital closes its doors

With an ever-increasing number of patients seeking care for diseases such as tuberculosis, diphtheria, typhoid and meningitis, and inadequate resources, the Brady Green Memorial Hospital and its nursing school closes its doors and the medical staff disbanded. Only a small cancer ward funded by the Junior League, and the grant-funded polio ward, remained open.

1948-07-01 22:13:36

A plan to reopen the hospital

Taxes levied separately by the city and county, creating double tax on city residents, allowed the Robert B. Green Hospital to gradually reopen, beginning with the pediatric and eye wards. The hospital regains accreditation from the American Hospital Association, and a medical residency program is restored soon after.

1955-12-19 22:41:25

A hospital district is created

The Bexar County Hospital District is approved by voters in 1955, becoming one of the first hospital districts in Texas and stabilizing the Green’s finances through property taxes. Bexar County Commissioners would set its tax rate and appoint its Board of Managers.

1959-12-12 03:49:51

A long-sought medical school is approved

House Bill 9 is signed into law by Texas Gov. Price Daniel, establishing the South Texas Medical School. The law stipulated that a state-of-the-art teaching hospital be located within a mile of the new medical school. The same year, the State Board of Nurse Examiners approves the establishment of a new school of nursing at the Robert B. Green.

100th Anniversary

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