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Life Science / Healthcare

San Antonio features a diverse mix of educational institutions, healthcare systems, life science companies, and private and public research facilities. It’s a collaborative industry with a comprehensive supply chain and infrastructure that includes more than 3,300 MDs and PhDs.

One of San Antonio’s largest industries, the life science and healthcare sector had a $40 billion economic impact on the San Antonio economy in 2017. The collaborative spirit among industry leaders is leading to new breakthroughs in the areas of infectious diseases, cancer, aging, and diabetes. The impact of these advances reaches far beyond our city limits.

BioMed SA is a public-private partnership focused on accelerating the growth of San Antonio's healthcare and life science sector, creating a regional economic benefit, and contributing to the health of San Antonio and beyond as a leader in healthcare and life science. For additional information on San Antonio's life science and healthcare sector, visit the BioMed SA website. 

Economic Impact

  • In 2018, according to a San Antonio Chamber of Commerce study, the economic impact of the life science and Healthcare industry was more than $40 billion. 
  • The industry paid $9.8 billion in wages and salaries to 182,000 employees in 2017.
  • One of every six San Antonio employees works in the life science and healthcare industry. 

Life Science and Healthcare Jobs in San Antonio MSA

Occupation 2010 Jobs 2014 Jobs Change % Change
Registered nurse 10,741 17,572 6,831 63.6%
Nursing aides, orderlies, and attendants 7,728 6,660 -1,068 -13.82%
Personal and home care aides 7,813 20,144 12,331 157.83%
Medical and clinical laboratory technicians 1,363 1,463 100 7.34%
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

Wages

Job Title Median Hourly Wage
Medical Laboratory Technologist $16.44
Nurse Practitioner $44.10
Licensed Practical and Licensed Vocational Nurse $20.63
Nursing Assistant $11.07
Medical Records Clerk $17.63
Medical Assistant (non-certified) $12.28
Pharmacy Technician (certified) $15.33
Source: Texas Workforce Commission.

Home of Military Medicine

San Antonio is the home of Military Medicine. The innovation that is taking place within the military will go on to benefit the life science sector as a whole. Plus, more than 50% of the military personnel who come to San Antonio as part of their assignment often wind up staying in San Antonio once they retire from active duty. These transitioning service members have extensive training and education, with the largest transitioning group citing medical experience. Our military prestige also gives the local industry greater access to federal funding.

San Antonio is home to the Department of Defense’s largest medical center. Additional military medical assets include:

JBSA-FORT SAM HOUSTON

  • Army Medical Department Center and School
  • U.S. Army Health Readiness Center of Excellence
  • Medical Readiness & Training Command

BROOKE ARMY MEDICAL CENTER

  • Level I Trauma Center
  • U.S. Institute of Surgical Research, including the military’s only burn unit, known worldwide for its expertise 
  • Center for the Intrepid 
  • San Antonio Medical Center Hospital

59TH MEDICAL WING

  • Headquartered at JBSA-Lackland AFB
  • The premier healthcare, medical education, and research and readiness wing of the Air Force

Medical & Research Centers

Many distinguished centers of research, medicine and high-tech operations are based in San Antonio. The city’s life science and high-tech sectors offer a wealth of resources for customized research, technology transfer, and employer-specific training. A collaborative effort of the San Antonio Medical Foundation, public and private partners, a comprehensive catalog and highlights of San Antonio's life science research can be found at  sabioscienceresearch.com.  

San Antonio draws patients and clients from around the globe to its well-respected healthcare and research facilities, evident by some of the most prominent science and technology organizations.

Private Sector Life Science Companies in San Antonio MSA

San Antonio is home to the largest life science headquarters in Texas: Acelity. The city is also home to a number of other large companies and services centers responsible for thousands of jobs and hundreds of millions of dollars in value creation. 

Brooke Army Medical Center

Brooke Army Medical Center (BAMC) at Fort Sam Houston plays a critical role in patient care and graduate medical education and research. BAMC operates as a Center of Excellence for orthopedics, burn and trauma. The hospital is also noted for cardiology and cardiothoracic surgery, and offers advanced oncology and ophthalmology care. The hospital sustains more than 60 accredited educational programs that include 25 graduate medical education programs, eight nursing programs, 18 enlisted allied health and medic phase II training along with additional programs in administration and allied health specialties.

Brooks City-Base

A special relationship exists among the partners co-located at Brooks City-Base resulting in a blend of scientific, medical, environmental and instructional expertise within the following organizations: Air Force 311th Human Systems Wing, Air Force Research Laboratory Human Effectiveness Directorate, Air Force Institute for Occupational Health, Air Force Center for Environmental Excellence, Air Force Medical Support Agency, USAF School of Aerospace Medicine, Air Force Outreach Program Office, and the U.S. Army Medical Research Detachment of the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research.

Cancer Therapy & Research Center

The Cancer Therapy & Research Center (CTRC), founded in 1974, serves as the only non-profit academic cancer research and treatment center for more than 4.4 million people in the high-growth corridor of central and south Texas, including Austin, San Antonio, Laredo and the Rio Grande Valley, handling more than 120,000 patient visits per year. The CTRC facilities include two major campuses and a satellite facility totaling 331,000 square feet and 43 acres, with more than 470 people.

The CTRC, through its research partnership with the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio (UTHSCSA), created the San Antonio Cancer Institute (SACI). SACI is one of a few elite cancer centers in the country to be named a National Cancer Institute Designated Cancer Center, and is one of only two in Texas. Together, UTHSCSA and the CTRC, through SACI, work to accelerate the development of anticancer agents by integrating basic, translational and clinical research.

The CTRC’s Institute for Drug Development (IDD) Phase I clinical trials program is the world’s largest for evaluating new cancer drugs. Many hundreds of anticancer agents have been tested in San Antonio, and to date 15 of the most important and effective drugs currently in use in the fight against cancer were either developed or first tested at the CTRC.

Center for the Intrepid

In January 2007, the Center for the Intrepid celebrated the opening of a $50 million facility designed to treat wounded soldiers. The funds for the Center came through private contributions and from more than 600,000 Americans that donated on behalf of the military women and men that serve our country. Located near Fort Sam Houston and Brooke Army Medical Center, the Center consists of four stories and 60,000 square feet. Each floor is equipped with state-of-the-art technology to help military amputees with rehabilitative advanced physical therapy methods. The Fisher house, a home for families of military soldiers undergoing rehabilitative therapy, is located next to the Center for the Intrepid.

South Texas Blood & Tissue Center

South Texas Blood & Tissue Center (STBTC) is a non-profit community blood center specializing in quality blood, blood components, tissue services, and specialized testing. STBTC is the first blood and tissue center in North America to receive certification for the International Organization for Standardization. In order to meet the needs of more than 100 hospitals and clinics in 43 south Texas counties, STBTC must collect 500 units of blood daily. The center’s Tissue Service Department, accredited by the American Association of Tissue Banks, recovers and distributes tissue components.

South Texas Medical Center

The 900-acre South Texas Medical Center (STMC) includes the prestigious University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio; 15 major healthcare institutions; two free-standing research centers; and 35 other facilities that provide health education, treatment, and research.

The STMC is home to several organizations recognized as global leaders by medical and healthcare professionals for the impact of their advanced research, patient diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation, degree programs, and state-of-the-art physical structures.

The Southwest Oncology Group

Established in 1956, The Southwest Oncology Group is one of the largest clinical trials research groups in the United States. The mission of the group is to make progress in the prevention and treatment of cancer in adult patients through clinical research.

The group’s operations office is located in the Texas Research Park, where the staff coordinates approximately 100 clinical trials at any given time, conducted by a network of more than 5,000 registered physicians across the United States.

Southwest Research Institute

Southwest Research Institute (SwRI) is one of the largest non-profit, independent research and development organizations in the United States. The Institute’s annual revenues are more than $435 million. SwRI specializes in the creation and transfer of technology in engineering and the physical sciences for industrial and government clients worldwide. Areas of specialization include: antennas and propagation; automation, robotics and intelligent systems; avionics and support systems; bioengineering; chemistry and chemical engineering; communications systems; corrosion and electrochemistry; earth and planetary sciences; emissions research; engineering mechanics; fire technology; fluid systems and machinery dynamics; and fuels and lubricants. Additional areas include geochemistry and mining engineering; hydrology and geohydrology; instrumentation and space research; materials sciences and fracture mechanics; modeling and simulation; nondestructive evaluation; oil and gas exploration; pipeline technology; surface modification and coatings; training systems and simulations; and vehicle, engine and powertrain design, research and development. The Institute’s work force totals more than 3,000 employees.

Texas Biomedical Research Institute

Established in 1941 as a non-profit research institution, the Texas Biomedical Research Institute (TBRI) is dedicated to the advancement of human health through research on the detection, cause, prevention, and treatment of disease.

Located on a 332-acre campus in northwest San Antonio, TBRI partners with hundreds of collaborators worldwide. Among its 400 employees are approximately 75 doctoral-level scientists who lead nearly 180 major research projects, achieving marked success in the areas of genetics, neonatal development, and infectious, metabolic and cardiovascular disease.

In their work, TBRI scientists have access to some extraordinary resources, including the Southwest National Primate Research Center; the nation’s only privately owned biosafety level 4, maximum containment laboratory; and the world’s largest computer cluster for statistical genetic analysis.

Texas Research Park

Owned and operated by TRTF, the Texas Research Park is a 1,236-acre site home to headquarters, research and development, and manufacturing operations. The Research Park offers tenants flexible office and laboratory space for lease.

Texas Research & Technology Foundation

Texas Research & Technology foundation (TRTF) is a non-profit organization that serves the community as a science and technology-driven economic developer. TRTF’s mission is to build a world-class center for life science research and medical education, and job creating economic development. The goals are to provide healthcare benefits for mankind, to provide education for life science professionals at the graduate level, and to create high-paying jobs in a clean industry.

U.S. Army Institute of Surgical Research

The U.S. Army Institute of Surgical Research (USAISR) is part of the U.S. Army Medical Research and Material Command co-located with and under operational control of Brooke Army Medical Center. The USAISR is dedicated to both clinical and laboratory trauma research. Its mission is to provide requirement-driven combat casualty care medical solutions and products for injured soldiers from self-aid through definitive care across the full spectrum of military operations; provide state-of-the-art trauma, burn, and critical care to Department of Defense (DoD) beneficiaries around the world.

With a state-of-the-art facility of more than 140,000 square feet and a multidisciplinary staff of more than 350 military, civilian and contract personnel, including surgeons, anesthesiologists, pathologists, nurses, microbiologists, physiologists, biochemists, veterinarians, and technical and administrative support personnel, the USAISR is a world-class organization, well-suited to provide combat casualty care solutions for the DoD and the civilians of south Texas.

U.S. Army Medical Department Center and School

The schoolhouse and think tank of the Army Medical Department, the Academy of Health Sciences (AHS), one of the largest health-care training institutions in the world, has about 28,200 resident students participating in 173 courses, lasting two weeks to two years. Another 20,000 students take 16 distance learning courses and 35 correspondence courses. The AHS offers training in 16 military medical specialties and 18 additional skill specialties.

The AHS offers 23 courses with civilian accreditation; 97 post-professional graduate short courses; a Bachelor of Science course in physical therapy; three master’s degree programs; nurse anesthesiology, physician assistant and healthcare administration; and two doctoral programs in pastoral care and physical therapy. Degree program affiliations include the University of Texas at San Antonio, University of Texas Health Science Center, Texas A&M University, Baylor University and St. Philip’s College.

The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio

The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio is one of the nation’s premier health science universities. Nearly 3,000 students are educated and trained in more than 50 degree programs, including those leading to the Doctor of Medicine, Doctor of Dental Surgery, and Doctor of Philosophy in several basic science disciplines. The Health Science Center is composed of Nursing, Dental School, Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences and School of Allied Health Sciences.

The Health Science Center has an impact of $1 billion a year on the south Texas economy. With annual grants, contracts and awards approaching $200 million, the Health Science Center is the leading research university in the region. Health Science Center researchers are international leaders in stroke prevention, heart disease, orthopedics, research imaging, pain management, genetics, nursing, dentistry, allied health and respiratory disorders.

Wilford Hall Medical Center

The Air Force’s premier medical facility, the 59th Medical Wing (MDW) is located at Lackland Air Force Base and operates the Wilford Hall Medical Center. Its mission is to provide global medical readiness capability and comprehensive peacetime healthcare benefits supported by education, training and research. Wilford Hall is the only Level I trauma center in the Air Force. Working closely with Brooke Army Medical Center, the 59th MDW provides a virtually complete spectrum of medical care.