SAN ANTONIO — An agreement that was signed between University Health, Texas A&M University-San Antonio (A&M-SA) and Texas A&M University Health Science Center (Texas A&M Health) will expand health services and health care training in Bexar County and South Texas.

“This is going to be a game-changer for the community,” George B. Hernández, president and CEO of University Health, said while at the official signing ceremony at A&M-SA.

The officiation comes after University Health bought 68 acres at the west entry to A&M-SA’s campus, which will house the University Health Institute of Public Health where a 257-bed hospital will be built by 2027. Bexar County commissioners distributed $30 million in federal American Rescue Plan Act money for the institute. The Texas A&M System Board of Regents approved funding to build a $45 million College of Education and Public Health facility at A&M-SA.

“This agreement marks a profound step forward in growing health care professions for our community,” Hernández said.

All involved parties foresee this partnership to quicken training for health care professionals, expand medical research and offer necessary health services to underserved communities in southern Bexar County and South Texas, according to University Health.

“When it comes down to it, collaborations are important. University Health needs well-trained health care professionals. Texas A&M Health Science Center and Texas A&M University-San Antonio create them. This agreement formally recognizes that and binds us, helping us each to better accomplish our shared missions of serving San Antonio,” said Chancellor John Sharp, chief executive for the Texas A&M University System.

Through their joint work, they plan to improve population health and health equity by providing quality and efficient health care.

“This partnership amplifies our collective efforts to address health inequities in South Bexar County and significantly enhances A&M-San Antonio’s ability to intentionally educate the Latino/a community for tomorrow’s health professionals for our region and state,” said Dr. Cynthia Teniente-Matson, president of Texas A&M-San Antonio, who signed the agreement along with Hernández and Jon Mogford, PhD, chief operating officer and senior vice president of Texas A&M Health.

“By taking direct interventions to improve population health and address the needs of our growing and diverse populations, we will be able to decrease health disparities for the common good,” Mogford said.

With this alliance, Texas A&M said their institution will be able to advance in many areas, such as the following:

  • Expand undergraduate, graduate and professional health-related medical education and clinical programs with Texas A&M Health
  • Grow A&M-SA enrollment in health science related program offerings such as community health and rural health degree offerings, health care administration, behavioral health programs, health science and biomedical degrees
  • Create a new Public Health unit at A&M-SA for research
  • Support the development of medical, clinical and non-clinical workforce to serve the community and Latino/a leaders in health-related fields
  • Promote a positive patient experience, compassionate patient care, excellence in education, public health promotion and intervention, and outstanding health outcomes

Also, A&M-San Antonio will continue working with the ASPIRE network of seven ISDs to mentor upcoming health professionals.

As seen, there’s a laundry list of benefits, being that University Health’s community hospital will be near the campus. Instead of patients having to seek care at University Hospital located in the Medical Center, they can get routine inpatient services, such as low-risk births and hip replacements.