From opening new hospitals to explaining a relatively-unknown virus to the public, 2016 was a year full of excitement and accomplishments for the University of Texas Medical Branch. Here are some highlights:

Jennie Sealy Hospital

In April, the medical branch opened the $438 million, state-of-the-art Jennie Sealy Hospital. The 765,000-square-foot facility features more than 300 patient beds, 60 ICU rooms, 28 day surgery rooms and 20 operating suites with the latest technology. Each patient room features a foldout bed for guests, a refrigerator for the patient’s use, two televisions, a locking drawer for valuables and spectacular views of the Gulf of Mexico and the Port of Galveston.

League City Hospital

In June, the medical branch opened a new hospital complete with inpatient and emergency care at its League City Campus. The first full-service hospital in League City, it offers advanced health care to patients from throughout the region and features a 24-hour emergency department, spacious labor and delivery rooms, and a sports medicine and rehabilitation clinic, in a soothing, healing environment designed by patients, families and staff. Each private, state-of-the-art patient room supports a team-based, patient- and family-centered approach to care.


Years before Zika became a household term, medical branch scientists were studying, tracking and predicting that the virus would eventually hit American shores. By the time the Zika crisis became a hot news topic, medical branch scientists were already working with Brazilian scientists, and federal, state and international health organizations. And when journalists all over the world sought experts to explain and talk about the Zika virus, medical branch scientists and doctors were ready and prepared to address the issue. By the time 2016 ended, medical branch Zika experts had been quoted or featured in The New York Times, The Washington Post, by all the national broadcast and cable news networks, the BBC, Scientific American, Wired magazine, all the Houston television stations, National Public Radio as well as area newspapers such as The Daily News, the Houston Chronicle and Texas newspapers such as The Dallas Morning News and the Austin American-Statesman.

125 years and still going strong

On Oct. 5, 1891, the founding members of the University of Texas Medical Department met for the first time — in Old Red — with 23 medical students and 13 faculty members. Since then, the medical branch has grown to include four health sciences schools, three campuses, five hospitals, a Level 1 Trauma Center in Galveston, the only Biosafety Level 4 research laboratory on a U.S. university campus, a health system that provides primary and specialized medical services throughout Texas and became a member of the Texas Medical Center.
Fundraising campaign raises more than $450 million
The biggest philanthropic effort in medical branch history, a $450 million Working Wonders Campaign, officially concluded in 2016, having exceeded the goal by raising $450,954,995 for various initiatives. Medical branch President Dr. David L. Callender said the campaign was “transformative,” enabling the medical branch to construct the new Jennie Sealy Hospital, to add 153 new endowments and to fund or sustain several major research programs. Medical branch faculty, staff and retirees contributed $13.3 million.