Thursday, March 11, 2010


I think that this is great news for Comal County and the surrounding communities.

Second medical center coming to New Braunfels

Baptist Health System announced Wednesday that it plans to build a full-service hospital in New Braunfels after finalizing the purchase of a 56-acre property this week on the northeast corner of Interstate 35 and Farm-to-Market 306, adjacent to the Town Center at Creekside.

The hospital is expected to open in 2012.

“With all the growth along the I-35 corridor, we believed there was a great opportunity to provide expanded medical services,” said Baptist President and CEO Graham Reeve.

Reeve said the facility would be a regional community hospital, providing service to residents in not only Comal, but also Guadalupe and Hays counties.

The opening of the city’s second hospital could keep what the United Way of Comal County’s Community Needs Assessment stated was nearly half of the county’s residents from seeking care outside county lines.

“We could go from exporting people from our county to seek medical care to importing them from other counties for the same reason,” said Greater New Braunfels Chamber of Commerce President Michael Meek.

The size of the hospital and its potential patient capacity have not yet been determined.

Although the full slate of services the hospital could offer also has not yet been decided, Reeve said it’s expected to offer patients with acute and emergency care, including cardiovascular and neonatal services.

“I know that it’s important for our growing community to have choice(s) and access to care where we need it most,” said Dr. Mark Hickman in a written statement. “The site of the new hospital, along with the full range of services offered there, will be a boon to the health of residents in our area.”

Baptist is a subsidiary of Vanguard Health Systems, a conglomerate that operates hospitals in Texas, Arizona, Illinois and Massachusetts.

The Baptist system consists of five hospitals in the greater San Antonio area.

It’s sixth would be built in New Braunfels.

Initial planning and design for the facility is under way.

“We would like to get it finished as soon as possible,” Reeve said.

Baptist would join Christus Santa Rosa Hospital-New Braunfels as the only large-scale medical facilities in Comal County.

Christus purchased the former McKenna Memorial Hospital in January 2009.

“We’re blessed to have someone like Christus operating here in New Braunfels, and now that a second medical treatment group wants to come here and invest is just that much better,” Meek said.