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Red, White & Beneficial—Military Healthcare Resources

San Antonio is a city that exudes red, white and blue with deep military roots and a proud, patriotic population of veterans, active military and civilians. The economic impact of Joint Base San Antonio is staggering, managing an annual payroll of more than $1.3 billion and awarding more than $135 million in small business contracts. Many recognize the significant economic impact, but may not be as cognizant of the effect that the military’s presence has on San Antonio’s health care and bioscience landscape.

The San Antonio Military Medical Center (SAMMC) provides exemplary and innovative care to all facets of the community and houses the only Department of Defense (DoD) Level I trauma center in the United States. It also features the largest DoD outpatient Ambulatory Surgical Center and a Hematology / Oncology Clinic that ranks among the top cancer programs in the nation.

San Antonio is also home to the DoD’s only American Burn Association verified Burn Center. The U.S. Army’s Burn Center at Fort Sam Houston fulfills a substantial role in San Antonio’s health care landscape as one of the largest burn centers in the country, providing care to civilians in 22 different Texas counties as well as the military worldwide. Launching during World War II with just 12 employees, the Burn Center now includes 750 dedicated, health care professionals.

Today, the burn center is a world leader in burn care, welcoming military patients for treatment from anywhere in the world, transported to San Antonio in less than 72 hours. Although providing world-class care for fire, chemical, explosion and radiation burns acquired by active duty military serves as the center’s primary mission, the majority of patients treated these days are civilians who’ve suffered car accidents, at-home mishaps and oil industry injuries. The continued patient flow keeps staff at the top of their game, pushing the envelope on burn treatment innovation.

The pathology laboratory at Joint Base San Antonio-Fort Sam Houston is another state-of-the-art military health care installation right under San Antonio’s nose. It exists as a hub for sample testing, processing tissue samples from 90+ military treatment facilities throughout the world. The lab also plays a critical role in supporting operations of the Level I Trauma Center, utilizing both Army and civilian personnel to continue their important work. This superior care originates in part from the exceptional quality of health care experts from the San Antonio Military Health System. In many cases, they carry the spirit of innovation and progress across the country. One such example is Army Maj. Gen. James K. Gilman, MD, who became the CEO of NIH Clinical Center this past December, our nation’s largest hospital dedicated entirely to clinical research. Having served as chief of cardiology at Brooke Army Medical Center at Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio, Gilman will continue making an impact on the medical field and moving the future of medicine forward.

The impact of innovative military healthcare in San Antonio is undeniable and the progress monumental. 

Return to EcoDevo 360 eNewsletter Issue 40