San Antonio/ Real Estate & Development
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Published on May 28, 2024
Jim Reed Reflects on the $44 Billion Impact of South Texas Medical Center on San Antonio's EconomySource: Google Street View

The numbers speak for themselves; the South Texas Medical Center is a powerhouse in San Antonio. In a recent interview on the bigcitysmalltown podcast, hosted by Robert Rivard, Jim Reed threw down some significant statistics to quantify the center's impact: fourteen hospitals, over thirty medical facilities, and a workforce 87,000 strong. These contribute more than $120 million yearly in taxes to San Antonio and Bexar County. "So it’s providing health care, but also providing economic impact to the city," Reed, now retiring after 25 years leading the San Antonio Medical Foundation, succinctly pointed out.

Under Reed's stewardship, the Medical Foundation has to preside over the growth of what's now a $44 billion health care and biosciences sector in the city. He's also been instrumental in the advancement of higher education in the field. "I don’t think most people appreciate that we have a thriving medical school out there producing physicians. We have a dental school that’s nationally ranked and a nursing school all under the umbrella of UT Health San Antonio, as well as [the] University Systems," Rivard commented during the podcast.

Yet another testament to the foresight of local leadership is the expected December opening of UT Health San Antonio’s $430 million Multispecialty and Research Hospital, a project that was the vision of the late Dr. William Henrich, UT Health San Antonio president. Henrich, who passed away this March following complications from a second stem cell transplant, was also behind the UT School of Public Health San Antonio, slotted to open in the fall. Reed hailed Henrich's visionary leadership, saying, "Bill was a real visionary, a real leader, and maybe more important than that, a real collaborator." Rivard showcased Reed's respect for his colleague, as he recounted Henrich's role in uniting various entities for joint research efforts on the podcast.

With the baton of the foundation's presidency passed to Richard Perez, the Medical Center looks set to expand further still. Notably, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs is planning to construct a "1.8 million square foot replacement" for the Audie L. Murphy Memorial Veterans’ Hospital. This significant project is expected to significantly bolster health care services for veterans in the area, Reed explained while underscoring the facility's status as the largest VA hospital, by patient numbers, in the U.S. "So it’s a huge, huge addition that will occur in San Antonio on Foundation property," Reed told bigcitysmalltown.

San Antonio owes much of its reputational muscle in the medical sector to the decades of strategic growth and leadership helmed by figures such as Reed and Henrich. Their legacy is deeply etched into the city's economic and healthcare landscape, offering services that reach well beyond city limits, impacting the region as a whole.