September 13, 2016 | (40) Comments

Today is such an exciting day for Texas Children’s and for the families we will serve for the next few decades. We have just finalized the purchase of two Texas Medical Center buildings near Texas Children’s Hospital – the Baylor Clinic Building at 6620 Main St. and the O’Quinn Medical Tower at 6624 Fannin St.

Our purchase of these two buildings from Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Center is such a significant expansion milestone – we have now added nearly 700,000 square feet of office and clinical space and 2,500 parking spaces to our medical center properties. However, the acquisition of these two buildings is not simply about buying buildings or adding bricks and mortar. It is about our ability to better serve more children, women and families who need the unique and comprehensive services of Texas Children’s. This is an investment in our mission to advance patient care, education and research.

And quite honestly, it is such a rare opportunity to be able to buy properties next to and across the street from our medical center property – one we likely will not ever have again. Realizing this, the Texas Children’s Board of Trustees, the medical staff and I discussed and examined this extensively, and we concluded that this acquisition was something in which we had to invest. It is a considerable investment in our people – specifically, our medical staff, employees and, most importantly, our patients and families. Having these new spaces will help ensure we can meet the future demands of our growing patient population, staff and workforce.

This purchase also represents something else we all can be proud of – our consistent financial stewardship. Our ability to purchase these facilities is the result of the strong and focused stewardship we have exercised in the last 25 years. Because we have been such responsible stewards of our assets and resources at Texas Children’s, we have created a solid balance sheet with very little debt. That allows us the flexibility to be quick and nimble enough to seize an opportunity like this. We were able to make this purchase without borrowing or raising money – it was completely funded by our cash reserves for capital projects. Our diligent past stewardship is paying huge dividends for our organization’s promising future.

Now that the acquisition is complete, the spaces within these new facilities will be further examined as part of our facilities master planning process. Several months ago I created a team – led by Executive Vice President Mark Mullarkey, Vice President of Surgical Services Matt Girotto, Vice President of Nursing Jackie Ward and Associate Radiologist-in-Chief Dr. Lane Donnelly – to guide this process. With the support of Facilities Planning and Development and the entire senior leadership team, they are leading development of Texas Children’s facilities master plan for the future. We know as leases expire for existing tenants in these two new buildings, those vacant spaces will provide tremendous backfill opportunities. Through the process of master planning, we will be able to identify the services that should be located in those new spaces.

Our process of strategically planning the use of all our facilities combined with our ability to add significant new space in such a prime location provides opportunities across our entire system. Today just opened a lot of doors for Texas Children’s for decades to come, and that should excite and inspire us all.