Investing in a healthier East Side

October 25, 2016

$5 million Dr. Robert L.M. Hilliard Center will provide family care and specialty services 

Making good on a promise to invest in improving the health of residents living in neighborhoods on the city’s East Side, University Health System today broke ground on a 25,000-square-foot state-of-the-art family healthcare center.

The Dr. Robert L.M. Hilliard Center, located at 601 Runnels Ave. near Interstate 35 and Walters Street, is named for a pioneering San Antonio physician, civic leader and patient advocate. It is the first University Health System facility named in honor of a person since its founding hospital opened downtown as the Robert B. Green Memorial Hospital in 1917, and the Green’s outpatient clinic was named for philanthropist Lady Brady in 1978. 

The center, to be built on a 2-acre site provided by the San Antonio Housing Authority, is expected to open at the end of 2017. The site includes room for the center to expand as needed in the years to come.

“The mission of University Health System has always been to improve the health of all our neighbors. And a large part of that mission has been to work to make good healthcare accessible to all,” said George B. Hernández Jr., president and CEO of University Health System. “The Dr. Robert L.M. Hilliard Center will go a long way toward fulfilling that mission, and we are proud to be making it a reality.”

The Bexar County Hospital District Board of Managers, with encouragement from Bexar County Commissioners Court, approved the new clinic for the East Side of San Antonio in 2014. Area residents and community leaders had pushed for a first-rate healthcare center to be built in the area, given an absence of convenient, nearby health services.

“Dr. Hilliard was a tremendous community leader and so well-respected throughout the city and his profession,” County Judge Nelson Wolff said. “I can’t think of a better person to name the clinic after.”

The center will serve as a prototype for future Health System clinics, with 16-20 exam rooms and some laboratory and imaging capabilities. While the focus will be primary care, women’s and children’s health services, it will also include a number of specialists who will rotate through the facility.

The $5 million project was designed by KAI Texas, a local architectural firm. Turner | Straightline is the construction manager. The cost of the project was partly funded through the Delivery System Reform Incentive Payment program, part of the Texas 1115 Medicaid waiver designed to improve the quality and availability of care throughout the state.

The project complements the Eastside Promise Zone, designated by the Obama Administration with the aim of revitalizing communities by creating jobs, reducing poverty, expanding educational opportunities, providing affordable housing and improving public safety.

University Health System, owned by the people of Bexar County, operates in more than 20 locations including University Hospital, the historic Robert B. Green Campus downtown, the Texas Diabetes Institute and a number of primary care and specialty health centers. It’s been consistently named the best hospital in the San Antonio area by U.S. News & World Report, and the sixth best in Texas. University Hospital is the premier Level I trauma center for a 22-county region of South Texas, and the only Level I pediatric trauma center and burn program in the region. University Health System is the region’s only healthcare organization to earn Magnet designation – the Gold Standard in patient care – from the American Nurses Association.