The long-awaited renovation of the AB wing of John Sealy Hospital at the University of Texas Medical Branch Galveston Campus will mark its completion with a ribbon-cutting ceremony on June 3. Approximately 220,000 square feet were renovated across five different floors, which will house services for women, infants and children.
John Sealy Hospital was built in 1978 and renovation work began in 2015 with a gift of $75 million from The Sealy & Smith Foundation. The original construction of the building was also funded by the foundation. The completion of the work will mark a new era for a building that has long been the hub of inpatient care on the Galveston Campus.
“This is a great day for UTMB and The Sealy & Smith Foundation,” said Dr. Ben Raimer, interim president of UTMB. “John Sealy Hospital’s ongoing transformation is due in large measure to the vision and generosity of the foundation. Our partnership has allowed us to always be there for the needs of our community and to provide the kind of care we all want to have when we need it. These new floors of John Sealy Hospital will allow our doctors and nurses to provide their world-class care for women, infants and children in a comforting, world-class setting.”
The renovated spaces include a new Pediatrics and Pediatrics Intensive Care Unit with 16 beds, a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit with 22 beds, a Mother Baby unit with 16 beds, a Labor & Delivery unit with 16 beds and a new triage/C-Section/Recovery floor.
The exterior of the building is being renovated to match that of Jennie Sealy Hospital—which opened in 2016—with windows that allow more natural light into the building and provide larger views to the outside. The new floors will include more spacious, family-centered patient rooms and new equipment and furnishings throughout. There is also a new connection that provides direct access to R. Waverley Smith Pavilion, with ceiling tiles featuring acoustic properties to reduce ambient noise and a large collection of art—many from local artists—throughout the new space.
“This is an exciting time for all of UTMB, our staff, doctors, nurses, technicians and everyone who works so hard to provide the best care for our patients,” said Dr. Joan Richardson, professor and chair of the Department of Pediatrics and Director, Division of Neonatology. “In my time here at UTMB we have worked to provide the best care possible in the best way possible and with the help of The Sealy & Smith Foundation, we continue that today.”
The modernization of John Sealy Hospital, expected to total approximately $217 million, will continue in a third phase that will renovate CD Tower. The Sealy & Smith Foundation is providing an additional $25 million in support for that Phase III. Over its history, the Foundation has contributed more than $950 million to UTMB for a variety of facilities, equipment and faculty support, in addition to providing Foundation-owned facilities and other properties to advance UTMB’s health care mission.
“This renovated space will help thousands of mothers, babies, children and their families,” said John Kelso, president of The Sealy & Smith Foundation board. “The care new families will receive here will help provide them the best possible start in life, and we’re proud to be a part of it. Many thanks to UTMB for all you do to keep our fellow Texans healthy.”