City Guide: Top-rate hospitals continue to be one of San Antonio's fastest-growing industries

If you need a city to fall to pieces in, this is the one. Top-rate hospitals continue to be one of San Antonio’s fastest-growing industries

The University Health System was presented with several awards and distinctions in 2010, among them a Top 50 national ranking from U.S. News & World Report for the care of patients with kidney disorders. It was the only SA hospital to be ranked in any of the 16 medical/surgical specialties evaluated by U.S. News Media Group and one of just eight Texas hospitals or medical centers to receive the recognition.

University Hospital’s Transplant Intensive Care Unit was awarded the Beacon Award for Critical Care Excellence, making it the first ICU in San Antonio, and just the second transplant ICU in the nation, to receive the recognition. University also scored national honors for rapid, high-quality heart attack care as one of eight hospitals in Texas, and 136 nationally, to receive a Gold Award from the American College of Cardiology Foundation.

Then there’s the CHRISTUS Santa Rosa Health System, which is the only hospital in San Antonio, and one of only three in Texas, to win the Distinguished Hospital Award for Clinical Excellence seven years in a row by the independent ratings org HealthGrades, which also named CHRISTUS one of America’s 50 Best Hospitals for the second year in a row.

HealthGrades bestowed Methodist Hospital with the Distinguished Hospital – Clinical Excellence award as well, in addition to an Emergency Medicine Excellence designation.

Baptist Medical Center (including Saint Lukes Lutheran Hospital) was also tagged for Emergency Medicine Excellence, ranking among the top 5 percent in the nation for emergency medicine.

Every Baptist Health System Hospital is home to an Accredited Chest Pain Center, while Baptist Medical is home to a Level IV trauma center and the Vascular Institute of San Antonio. The Institute provides the most comprehensive care for peripheral vascular disease in all of South Texas.

In addition to training more than 3,000 students a year in an environment that involves more than 100 affiliated hospitals, clinics, and health care facilities, the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio contains one of the nation’s leading academic cancer research and treatment centers. The National Cancer Institute renewed UTHSCSA’s Cancer Therapy & Research Center as an “NCI-designated Cancer Center” in 2009 — the distinction came with $5.4 million in new federal funding to support the cancer center’s rapidly expanding research programs. UTHSCSA also ranked No. 1 in the nation for basic aging research funding from the National Institute on Aging.

The Air Force’s largest medical facility, Wilford Hall, is the top ambulatory center, listed as a Level 1 Trauma Center by the American College of Surgeons.

So, go ahead and get ill. We dare you. Just make sure your insurance is up to date first.

Read more from our 2011 City Guide here.