The campus expansion of UTMB’s League City location was sparked by overwhelming demand for quality healthcare in the region. UTMB’s initial League City hospital opened in 2016, and its inpatient services and other service lines quickly reached capacity. UTMB has been traditionally an “island hospital” for the Galveston area, but over the last two decades UTMB has transitioned from having a presence in just Galveston to multiple locations on the mainland including three major community campuses and more than 50 primary care locations. The growth has been significant and incredibly beneficial to the surrounding population, supporting the health and wellness of one of the fastest growing communities in the nation.
The expansion gave the League City campus a total of 97 beds and was designed to support the growing mainland population over the next five years. The new five-story patient tower features several new departments and amenities, adding 60 new patient beds, lab spaces, new food service and dining, and an adjacent helipad. It can support future vertical expansion of up to 12 floors and 350 beds. The proximity of the League City campus to UTMB’s Galveston campus and nearby MD Anderson ensures that optimal healthcare does not require miles of travel or going to multiple locations.
Additionally, our design team worked with UTMB to fast-track the completion of the new tower as the coronavirus pandemic began in early 2020 and the health system realized it would need more bed capacity. All stakeholders were brought to the table and everyone identified and prioritized what was needed to operate a COVID unit. Patient safety was the focus for opening this unit ahead of schedule. Creating these contingency plans and getting the unit ready before the first COVID wave hit Texas was crucial and allowed UTMB ample preparation time to care for patients who needed it the most.
The expansion proved to be what the community required for its healthcare needs. At the campus’ fifth anniversary celebration in summer 2021, Christine Wade, hospital administrator and associate chief of nursing told the Galveston Daily News the hospital was “full every day” and said if the need for services continues at this pace, “as we need it, we’ll build it.”