The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston officially will break ground Friday, April 20 on a new hospital designed to promote a team-based approach to care and provide a modern medical facility for patients and future health care workers. 

“This is an exciting new era at UTMB.  It’s a time of renewal, restoration and revitalization,” said Dr. David L. Callender, president of UTMB. “We’ve just reopened our children’s hospital and dedicated a new Comprehensive Maternity Center, expanded our clinic services off the island and we’re wrapping up the modernization of the Blocker Burn Unit and the renovation of John Sealy Hospital.  And those are just a few of the exciting projects that are helping to transform UTMB into a world-class academic health center.”

Numerous local and state officials are scheduled to speak at the groundbreaking that will begin at 11 a.m. in an area adjacent to the Waverley Smith Pavilion on the University Plaza Garage.

The $438 million facility will feature 310 patient rooms, including 54 dedicated ICU beds, a 28-bed day surgery unit and 20 state-of-the-art operating suites.

“This new facility reinforces our commitment to provide the best possible care for our patients and the best environment for our physicians and nurses to care for patients in a setting that nurtures and enriches the learning experience for all of our students,” said Donna Sollenberger, executive vice president and CEO of the UTMB Health System.

The new hospital, expected to be completed in 2015 and operational in 2016, is being built on the site of the recently-demolished Jennie Sealy Building and old Shriner’s building.  The new hospital is being paid for by $150 million in Tuition Revenue Bonds approved by the state Legislature, $18 million in UTMB funds and $270 million in philanthropy, which includes $170 million from The Sealy & Smith Foundation.

Scheduled guest speakers include representatives of the University of Texas System Board of Regents, The Sealy & Smith Foundation, state Reps. Craig Eiland and Larry Taylor, Galveston Mayor Joe Jaworski and Texas City Mayor Matthew T. Doyle.