Mission Trail Baptist Hospital
Mission Trail Baptist Hospital is investing millions to meet demand from an expanding population south of downtown San Antonio.

Baptist Health System, which operates one of two major primary care hospitals in the city’s southern sector, is stepping up to help meet increasing demand for care. Mission Trail Baptist Hospital, which has invested $5 million this year to expand clinical services at the Brooks facility, is about to spend $1 million more to expand its operating room space.

The latest project will include building two new operating rooms that will enable Mission Trail to offer more outpatient procedures and create capacity for more complex surgeries.

“Expanding our operating room capacity will allow us to care for more people where they live — on the South Side,” said Sandy Ethridge, chief operating officer at Mission Trail Baptist Hospital.

Eric Schmaker
Eric Schmacker is CEO of Mission Trail Baptist Hospital. MARK HUMPHRIES | BAPTIST HEALTH SYSTEM

Mission Trail’s surgical volume has increased by 16 percent in the last year, keeping the hospital’s operating rooms at maximum capacity. The population base and the demand for care will likely continue escalating amid greater efforts on the South Side to create economic equality and activity there.

The volume of hospital infrastructure south of downtown pales in comparison to the build out across the city’s northern half, but the gap is narrowing as more people and businesses migrate to areas around emerging destinations such as Brooks and Texas A&M University-San Antonio.

“Market data suggests Southeast San Antonio is projected to grow 11 percent in five years,” Mission Trail Hospital CEO Eric Schmacker said.

Baptist officials said the hospital will look to add more space, programming and technology at Mission Trail as demand for care increases.

“Residents, employers and visitors deserve convenient access to quality health care,” Schmacker said. The latest million-dollar investment is a “first step to meet the growing demands of the community.”

Construction on the new operating rooms is scheduled to be completed by November.

Officials with the local hospital system, owned by Dallas-based Tenet Healthcare Corp., are bracing for more expansion to keep pace with demand.

That would qualify the Southeast Side as one of the city’s fastest-growing areas.

“The growth of the population, business, retail, schools and housing result in increased demand for health care services in the community,” Schmacker said.

Article originally published here: Hospital investing millions to meet South San Antonio growth