Health & Science

UTMB Celebrates Construction Of New Hospital Tower In Galveston

The Jennie Sealy Hospital will start admitting patients in April.

Jennie Sealy, Galveston Campus
Jennie Sealy, Galveston Campus

The University of Texas Medical Branch held a dedication ceremony Friday for a new hospital building on its Galveston campus. Texas Senator John Cornyn spoke at the event, which was also attended by William McRaven, the chancellor of the University of Texas System.

The Jennie Sealy hospital is a 12-story tower with 310 private patient rooms, 20 operating rooms, and 28-bed outpatient surgery unit. The neurosurgery operating room is equipped with an MRI machine for use during brain surgery, and is one of only three hospitals in Texas with that capacity, according to UTMB officials.

The building will start accepting patients in April. Each patient room includes a sofa bed for overnight visitors, two televisions, a guest refrigerator, and the flexibility to add or remove intensive-care equipment as needed. Some rooms were specially designed for the care of obese patients.

The Jennie Sealy hospital cost $438 million: 60 percent of that came from charitable donations, including a $170 million gift from the Smith & Sealy Foundation, which has been supporting healthcare in Galveston since 1922. The remaining money came from $150 million in Tuition Revenue Bonds approved by the state Legislature, and $18 million from UTMB funds.

The tower was built on the site of the recently-demolished Jennie Sealy Building and the old Shriner's building.

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