H-E-Buddy stops by the Children's Hospital of San Antonio for the announcement of a $5 million gift from H-E-B.
H-E-Buddy stops by the Children's Hospital of San Antonio for the announcement of a $5 million gift from H-E-B. Courtesy photo via CHOSA's Facebook page.

The Children’s Hospital of San Antonio announced it has reached a major milestone in establishing a world-class free-standing children’s hospital with the opening of Phase One of its newly transformed Emergency Department next week, as well as an outpatient testing center, known as KidSTOP. The Sisters of Charity of the Incarnate Word – San Antonio led the blessings of the new areas as physicians, Associates, volunteers, and community leaders were present for the celebration.

During today’s event, Children’s Hospital officials announced that H-E-B has given a $5 million gift toward the new emergency department, which will now be known as the H-E-B Emergency Department.

“It is a blessing to open the new spacious additions in the heart of downtown San Antonio. They will serve our children and their families well for many years to come,” said Elias Neujahr, president of the Children’s Hospital of San Antonio. “Our H-E-B Emergency Department and KidSTOP locations are usually the very first experience children, and their families, have in a hospital setting. We want to make sure their experience is as pleasant as possible, in a fully focused, family-centered environment with our team of pediatric experts caring for them.”

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“As Mayor, I am pleased to welcome a state-of-the-art medical facility that will provide great care to our community,” said Mayor Ivy Taylor who recently toured the new emergency department.  “As a parent, I never want to have a reason to take my daughter to the emergency department. But if that visit were ever necessary, it’s a blessing that the Children’s Hospital of San Antonio and KidSTOP will be there to offer comfort and healing to children and families.”

Phase One of the newly transformed Emergency Department features 28 private rooms, distinctive soundproof flooring, ambient lighting with soothing decorative colors, state-of-the-art trauma and resuscitation equipment, radiology and imaging suites within the unit and dedicated elevators that lead directly to the Hospital’s operating rooms. The newly dedicated H-E-B Emergency Department will begin seeing patients, in the new location, on Tuesday, March 3. When Phase Two opens later this year, the H-E-B Emergency Department will be three times larger than its original footprint, boasting 52 beds and spanning 30,000 square feet.

“H-E-B’s commitment to the health and wellness of Texas children is unwavering,” said Winell Herron, H-E-B Group Vice President of Public Affairs, Diversity and Environmental Affairs. “H-E-B is honored to support a state-of the-art emergency department that will serve as the primary destination for children in medical need throughout San Antonio, South Texas, and beyond.”

“Our ability to care for children in any emergency situation is key to building a world-class children’s hospital. This endeavor includes our ongoing efforts to recruit a dynamic team of pediatric specialists in partnership with Baylor College of Medicine and many community private practice physicians, who provide care beyond the emergency department setting. Whether a child needs orthopedics, general surgery, neurosurgery, gastroenterology, pulmonology, endocrinology, etc., the Children’s Hospital is fully equipped and prepared to provide the full spectrum of pediatric medical care,” said Children’s Hospital of San Antonio Pediatrician-in-Chief Mark Gilger, M.D. The Children’s Hospital currently has a Level III emergency trauma designation with plans to pursue a higher level of designation.

“It is important for families to understand what constitutes a medical emergency. We encourage families to have a primary care physician for their children to take care of routine checkups and consultations for urgent care situations during office hours,” said Dr. Kris Rittichier, chief of Pediatric Emergency Medicine. “But, when children suffer head injuries, severe bleeding, difficulty breathing, potential poisoning, unexplained severe abdominal pain, high fevers, or loss of consciousness, the emergency team is here 24/7 to treat them.”

Rittichier adds that in addition to the emergency department opening at the Children’s Hospital of San Antonio in the heart of downtown San Antonio, a free-standing pediatric emergency center is slated to open in April 2015, on the city’s northwest side. Physicians who are board-certified in pediatric emergency medicine, along with specially trained nurses will provide 24/7 care at the Children’s Hospital of San Antonio Emergency Center – Westover Hills, located conveniently on the campus of Christus Santa Rosa – Westover Hills, in Medical Office Building III. The new Emergency Center will not only treat and stabilize children, but will provide seamless transfer to the fully dedicated freestanding Children’s Hospital of San Antonio for further treatment, when necessary.

In 2013, one of San Antonio’s philanthropic leaders, Harvey E. Najim and The Najim Family Foundation, demonstrated their support for the Children’s Hospital of San Antonio by donating a combined $3 million gift, comprised of a personal gift from Najim as well a gift from The Najim Family Foundation.

KidSTOP moves to its new permanent home on Monday, March 9, providing families and their children a convenient place to receive physician-ordered blood tests, radiology imaging, respiratory therapy and intravenous therapy. KidSTOP can also provide many minor outpatient procedures as ordered by a child’s doctor.

*Featured/top image: H-E-Buddy stops by the Children’s Hospital of San Antonio for the announcement of a $5 million gift from H-E-B. Courtesy photo via CHOSA’s Facebook page.

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JoAnn King is the public relations coordinator for Children’s Hospital of San Antonio.