Galveston Campus

The History of the John Sealy Hospital

For more than a century, the University of Texas Medical Branch (UTMB Health) has served the needs of Texas and Texans from its large Galveston campus, long anchored by the John Sealy Hospital.

The former hub of UTMB’s inpatient care complex, John Sealy Hospital was completed in 1978 at a cost of $32.5 million and was funded in full by The Sealy & Smith Foundation. The 12-story hospital includes single patient rooms and specialized care units. It is the third facility to bear the name John Sealy Hospital, in memory of the benefactor whose bequest built the first John Sealy Hospital in 1890. Portraits of John Sealy and his son, John Sealy II, and daughter, Jennie Sealy Smith, are on display in the lobby.

A second John Sealy Hospital, built in 1954, is known today as the John Sealy Annex and now houses administrative and support services. It is joined to the north side of the current hospital, and portions of its original facade are easily recognizable.

The Sealy & Smith Foundation has contributed more than $850 million to UTMB since its inception, leaving a lasting imprint on the university.

The new Jennie Sealy Hospital, also on the Galveston campus and also generously supported by the Sealy & Smith Foundation, reinforces the commitment of UTMB Health to provide the best possible care for patients, and the best environment for physicians and nurses to care for patients in a setting that nurtures and enriches the learning experience for students.

The new $438 million facility features 310 patient rooms, including 60 dedicated ICU beds, a 28-bed day surgery unit and 20 state-of-the-art operating suites (see Jennie Sealy Facts Sheet for more details). It also connects to UTMB's new Clinical Services Wing, which contains the hospital pharmacy, laboratory space, support services (environmental services, materials management, linen) and a commercial kitchen.

With the opening of the new Jennie Sealy Hospital on April 9, 2016, work shifts to back to John Sealy Hospital, where the second phase of a major modernization has begun.

John Sealy Hospital continues to house the world-renowned Blocker Burn Unit, Mother & Baby and Labor & Delivery Units, the Children's Hospital, the Sleep Lab, cafeteria and various other services.

historic photo of John Sealy Hospital

The following areas relocated from John Sealy Hospital to the new Jennie Sealy Hospital on April 9, 2016:

  • Acute Care for the Elders
  • Cardiology & Vascular
  • Surgery
  • Family Medicine
  • Gynecologic Oncology
  • Medicine
  • Neurology ICU
  • Neurology/Neurosurgery
  • Orthopaedics/Trauma
  • SICU
  • Surgery
  • Transplant Surgery

All patient and visitor parking for both hospitals is available in the Hospital Garage.