The dream of a major health care center in south Texas started small. But over the years, it’s gotten so much bigger. And so much better. When the South Texas Medical Center (STMC) started in 1961, it consisted of a single hospital. Today, it is made up of over 75 medically related institutions, more than 45 clinics, 12 major hospitals, 1 higher education institution, and countless small practices, offices and non-medical businesses.
With over 900 acres, the Medical Center has not only grown in size, it has grown in impact—serving patients from across the globe and contributing significantly to worldwide medical research.
The double helix is the spiral pattern within DNA and what is known as the basic building block of life. It is also what inspired the aluminum sculpture created by San Antonio artist Richard Harrell Rogers and installed on the grounds of the University of Texas Health Science Center. But it might equally well represent the South Texas Medical Center as a whole.
Just as life needs the blueprint for growth defined by DNA, so the Medical Center has its own blueprint for current and future development and growth. And this can be seen in the broadening scope of the Medical Center’s facilities, in the continued expansion of advanced care, in the refined technology and ongoing research taking place here.
The Dream: 1947-1961
In 1944, community leaders began discussions about bringing a medical school to San Antonio. By 1947 they established the San Antonio Medical Foundation as a not-for-profit Texas corporation to formally pursue this goal—and backed it up with donations of 200 acres of land.
The Early Years: 1961-Present
In 1961, the University of Texas Board of Regents and the Texas Legislature decided to locate the South Texas Medical School in San Antonio—and the foundation responded by transferring 100 acres to the university for the building site. When the board advised that the school be associated with a teaching hospital, the foundation acquired over 700 acres to support this goal and ensure future expansion.
The Future: 2012 & Beyond
Most of the land held by the foundation has been granted or leased exclusively for medical and health service uses. Today, however, the Medical Center area has expanded to become its own community—with multiple office buildings, hotels, apartments, restaurants, shops and services in addition to numerous major hospitals, clinics, research labs, technical and support facilities. And there are approximately 290 acres of foundation land that still await future development.
8 Facts About STMC*
Sheer numbers can’t tell the whole tale of the impact that the Medical Center has had on the health of individuals, the lives of families, and the community as a whole. Still, some of those numbers are impressive:
The current number of employees working in the Medical Center (at both medical and non-medically related employers) has reached approximately 56,000 employees.
There were 5.38 million outpatient visits in 2010. A 55% increase since 2000.
Annual 2010 inpatient visit totaled 104,276. A 10% increase since 2000.
Total estimated annual billings and economic impact of patients coming from outside Bexar County—approximately $600 million.
Annual budget, including research, for 2010 was $3.409 billion—an increase of 69% over the year 2000.
In 2010, total research grants awarded amounted to $211 million—a 69% increase since 2000.
Total investment in facilities and equipment is valued at $2,679 billion—an increase of 43% since 2001.
Capital projects projected over the next 5 years total approximately $1.031 billion.
*Data from the 2011 South Texas Medical Center Area Progress report.