Continuing a century-long mission of healing at historic Robert B. Green Campus
The new Clinical Pavilion at the historic Robert B. Green Campus, which officially opens Saturday, will be a comprehensive, one-stop location for outpatient services, convenient to those living and working in and near the central city.
It features expanded urgent and primary care services, new outpatient surgery and endoscopy suites, a wide range of specialty clinics and new diagnostic and imaging capabilities. Add to that a larger new pharmacy building next door, and it makes the Robert B. Green Campus one of the most comprehensive outpatient centers in the area — eliminating the need for patients to travel to University Hospital for many procedures and services.
The campus, at the junction of IH 10 and West Martin Street on the western edge of downtown, is the site of the original Robert B. Green Memorial Hospital, which opened in 1917. It has served as University Health System’s main outpatient facility since 1968.
“Many in our community have a strong connection to the Robert B. Green going back generations,” said George B. Hernandez Jr., president and CEO of University Health System. “Thousands were born here. Many more came here for care when they were sick or hurt. That special bond will continue with the opening of this beautiful new building, with added services and the latest technology.”
The six-story, 269,000-square-foot building, designed by the architectural team of RTKL and Overland Partners, is part of the University Health System’s $899 million Capital Improvement Program, one of the largest construction projects in Bexar County history. The project also includes a new 1 million-square-foot trauma tower at University Hospital, set to open in early 2014.
The original hospital building will undergo renovations next, with most patient services to be housed in the new Clinical Pavilion.
“We view this important expansion of services as an investment in the future of San Antonio, and in the central city in particular,” said James Adams, chairman of the Bexar County Hospital District Board of Managers. “City and county leaders have made the creation of a vibrant downtown a major goal, and we are pleased to be a part of that effort. This new facility will serve those living and working in and around the downtown area.”
Urgent and primary care is being expanded in the new Clinical Pavilion. ExpressMed, a clinic for minor emergencies and after-hours medical problems that don’t require an emergency room, is now bigger and joined by a separate, new PediExpress for kids.
Outpatient surgery and endoscopy will be available for the first time. A larger, more comprehensive imaging center adds nuclear medicine, bone density testing and a large-bore MRI for patients with claustrophobia or mobility challenges.
Women’s health is a major focus and includes the new CenteringPregnancy program for expectant mothers, the only civilian program in the city. Other services include high-level care for complicated pregnancies, breastfeeding programs, family planning, well-woman visits, mammography and other cancer screenings.
“When the Bexar County Commissioners Court approved University Health System’s $899 million Capital Improvement Program in the summer of 2008, we knew our population was growing — as were the health challenges such as diabetes that were of particular concern in our community,” said Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff. “The expansion of services downtown, along with the new tower under construction at University Hospital, will help us meet those challenges in the decades to come.”
Inside the building, works of art — many by local artists — are located throughout each floor, and on the exterior, including a constantly changing wind veil and sunshade across the façade by California artist Ned Kahn, and a computerized light display by Bill Fitzgibbons. Approximately 1 percent of the project’s budget was set aside for design enhancements and public art — a standard amount for large public building projects. The art adds a soothing, human touch to the process of healing.
Patients also will notice an enhanced emphasis on customer service and comfort. A concierge desk on each floor directs patients to their destination. And after they see their doctor, they can enjoy a meal or snack in the first-floor Bistro, featuring both hot and cold meals. A larger pharmacy is a few steps away.
The building also was designed to minimize energy and water use, using “green design” techniques. The Clinical Pavilion is seeking LEED — or Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design — Gold certification. If awarded, it would be only the second healthcare facility in San Antonio to be recognized for its energy efficient design.
By the time it is complete, the Capital Improvement Project will have had an estimated economic impact in excess of $2 billion. The fact the project was built during the economic downturn kept costs low, and provided new jobs and work for local businesses — helping Bexar County weather the storm better than in most places.
“Bartlett Cocke General Contractors is very proud to have participated in constructing the New Clinical Pavilion for Robert B. Green," said, Randy Pawelek, chairman and CEO of Bartlett Cocke General Contractors. "We are particularly proud to have achieved 98 percent local subcontractor participation and 64 percent small minority and women-owned business participation on UHS’s downtown flagship, making this facility one that has fully involved our entire community, literally, from the ground up.”