The following message was sent yesterday afternoon to our alumni and friends throughout Texas and beyond. We wanted to share it with the UTMB family as well, because it reflects your hard work and dedication to our vital mission. Thank you.
This is an exciting time at the University of Texas Medical Branch as we end a year of tremendous accomplishment and head into a new era of growth and revitalization.
Last week, on a glorious Texas day, UTMB friends, supporters, alumni and employees gathered to symbolically implode and begin demolition of the existing Jennie Sealy and Old Shriners Burns hospitals, making room for a new, $438 million, state-of-the-art facility.
This major milestone bears witness to a recovery that one UT System official referred to as “miraculous.” It also testifies to the confidence state leaders and other stakeholders have in our plans for the future, and the value they place in the contributions we make to the health of people in Texas and beyond.
We plan to break ground on the new Jennie Sealy Hospital in early 2012 and open the doors to patients in early 2016. The 13-floor facility, designed to withstand the worst storms Galveston might face, will feature 310 patient rooms, 20 state-of-the-art operating suites, a 54-bed intensive care unit and an expansive day surgery unit.
Elevated walkways will connect to the John Sealy Hospital, which is currently undergoing extensive modernization, and our award-winning Level I Trauma Center.
As a healing environment that will facilitate team-based, family-centered care, the new hospital is an essential component of our long-range clinical strategic plan. UTMB today has unprecedented proximity to one of the fastest-growing populations in Texas, the Southeast Houston/Bay Area, which is expecting a shortage of approximately 1,000 primary and specialty care doctors by 2015. Our growing network of clinics in northern Galveston County — including the newly opened Multispecialty Center and Stark Diabetes Clinic — is ideally situated to serve this population and the existing medical community well into the future.
Equally important, the Jennie Sealy Hospital will be a classroom writ large, where tomorrow’s health care leaders and providers train.
More graduates have passed through UTMB’s doors than from any other academic health center in our state, and 4,500 UTMB graduates are practicing medicine in Texas today, the highest number of any Texas medical school. And this year marks the largest enrollment in our history. This new hospital will provide the cutting-edge, team-based, real-world “classroom’’ our students, residents and faculty deserve.
For me, the Jennie Sealy Hospital is a tangible reminder that UTMB is flourishing, and that we have big plans for the future. I doubt that many comparable organizations can claim the same successes we have achieved under the circumstances we have faced.
We deeply appreciate our alumni, friends and supporters, and we urge you to stay informed about our amazing progress by visiting www.utmb.edu and www.facebook.com/UTMB.edu
David L. Callender, MD