The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston reached
another milestone in its distinguished history at the forefront of
pediatric care when in 2012, it opened the doors of a
new Children’s Hospital on the 10th floor of John Sealy Hospital.
century ago, pediatrics was a tiny field of medical practice. At the
beginning of the 20th century, there were only five or six doctors in
the United States who devoted their practice exclusively to pediatrics.UTMB has been a leader in children’s medical care since those earliest
days when pediatrics began to emerge as a separate field of practice.
In 1915, UTMB was commissioned by the state to build the first
children’s hospital in Texas. In 1924, UTMB established the first
department of pediatrics in the state — one of the first departments of
pediatrics in the nation.
After UTMB’s Children’s Hospital closed in the wake of Hurricane Ike,
UTMB’s pediatric hospital services were relocated to floors in the John
Sealy Hospital that were designed for adults.
The opening of the new UTMB Health Children’s Hospital marks the end
of years of detailed planning and designing by members of UTMB’s
pediatric faculty and staff.
“The new UTMB Health Children’s Hospital offers unsurpassed care for
children in an intimate, family-centered environment designed for both
healing and fun,” said Donna Sollenberger, executive vice president and
CEO, UTMB Health System. “We are so proud to open this beautiful new
facility that brings a whole new level of pediatric inpatient service to
The fully redesigned hospital within a hospital reflects an attention
to all the details that matter to children, offering the whimsy and
serenity of an ocean/island color and design scheme along with many
special spaces for toddlers, older children and teenagers to play,
relax, unwind and spend time with family members. Large patient rooms
have couches that convert to beds, large flat-screen TVs with DVD
players, in-room refrigerators and large comfortable chairs that fully
spaces are punctuated with shiny, whimsical art commissioned by Austin
artist Allison Gregory. Along the ceiling there are tiles painted as sea
creatures by former pediatric patients. Transoms and doors throughout
the space are filled with sea-blue bubbled glass. There is a state
of-the-art arcade, an air-hockey table, Wii game units, X Boxes, Play
Stations and many other toys, puzzles, games, books and DVDs for all
ages in the common rooms.
Special details like sea-creature tiles that accent all the patient
bathrooms, translucent aquamarine countertops throughout the unit and a
serene meditation area for families illustrate the attention that the
leadership team and designers gave to every small nuance of the unit’s
The new UTMB Health Children’s Hospital is served by a child life
program. Child life specialists promote effective coping through play
and provide emotional support for families and children during a
hospital stay. The child life specialist is an integral part of the team
during any procedure that might be frightening or painful, helping
children to relax and remember to have fun even when they are sick. The
entire Children’s Hospital was designed with this combination of healing
and fun in mind.
Patients and families can expect an intimate, family-centered, personal
experience at UTMB Health. UTMB has a very personal program, a very consistent team and not a
lot of shuffling between different providers for families who are under
the stress of a child’s hospitalization. UTMB's pediatric hospitalist
service is dedicated to evidence-based medicine, assuring the most
UTMB's specialty care is unsurpassed, with
pediatric specialty and subspecialty physicians with many years of
special training and the expertise that accompanies this. Its
professional staff are all specially trained to care for children.
Together this reflects the deep commitment of UTMB to providing the best
possible care for children and creates a multidisciplinary team of
experts, focused on one common goal: improving the health of each child
in our care.
For more information, call (409)