A NEW HEALTHCARE CENTER FOR FAMILIES TAKES SHAPE
Set to officially open in 2018, the Dr. Robert L.M. Hilliard Center is University Health System’s newest, state of-the-art clinic, one that will bring much-needed health services to those living and working on the city’s East Side. The $8 million, 12,000-square-foot center, located on a two-acre site provided by the San Antonio Housing Authority, or SAHA, will offer primary care for adults and children.
A news conference announcing the project took place in June 2014. And in October 2016, a groundbreaking ceremony attended by hundreds was held on the two-acre site near Interstate 35 and Walters Street.
The Hilliard Center is the first University Health System facility named in honor of a person since its founding hospital opened downtown as the Robert
B. Green Memorial Hospital in 1917, and the Green’s outpatient clinic was named for philanthropist Lady Brady in 1978.
Dr. Hilliard, who died in 2014 at the age of 83, was a pioneering physician who delivered more than 14,000 babies over the course of his distinguished career. He also had significant ties to both University Health System and SAHA. He was the first African-American physician to receive specialty training at the Robert B. Green Memorial Hospital. And he was past chair of the San Antonio Housing Authority.
The idea to name the center after Dr. Hilliard began with Bexar County Commissioner for Precinct 4, Tommy Calvert. It was strongly endorsed by members of the Board of Managers.
“It’s really impossible to measure the impact he had on the lives of his patients, the babies he brought into this world, and the many students and physicians he mentored,” said Board of Managers Secretary Dr. Dianna Burns-Banks, a longtime friend and colleague of Dr. Hilliard.
“We are proud to honor Dr. Hilliard’s service and legacy as we deepen our roots on San Antonio’s East Side,” added Vice Chair Ira Smith Jr.
The new family health center is funded in part by the Texas 1115 Medicaid Waiver. The Housing Authority, led at the time by Lourdes Castro Ramirez — who today is president of the University Health System Foundation — agreed to provide land for the facility.
The Hilliard Center will complement a number of initiatives underway on the city’s East Side. In 2014, President Barack Obama had just declared it one of five U.S. Promise Zones, as the United Way of San Antonio and Bexar County was awarded a $24.6 million Promise Neighborhood grant to spur community development and improve education. The San Antonio Housing Authority received a $29.7 million federal Choice Neighborhood grant to revitalize the community.