The walls are rising on a new freestanding medical facility with far North Side youngsters in mind.

The Children’s Hospital of San Antonio, part of Christus Santa Rosa Health System, is building a 60,000-square-foot clinic at Sonterra Boulevard and U.S. 281.

The three-story Children’s Hospital of San Antonio Health Pavilion-Stone Oak, 1434 E. Sonterra Blvd., is slated to open in November with extensive pediatric services.

It will feature internal medicine, subspecialists and many ancillary services including a place for kids to get infusions without taking a trip downtown.

“Being able to make that readily available to the community is very important,” said Elias Neujahr, president of the children’s hospital. “From a location perspective, it is easily accessible. There has been tremendous population growth in (Stone Oak) over the last several years.”

The emergency room is near Methodist Stone Oak Hospital and North Central Baptist Hospital. The Christus Santa Rosa emergency facility will help funnel those who need additional attention to The Children’s Hospital of San Antonio downtown.

Part of the building’s space will be occupied by Dr. Saleh Jaafar’s MedCare Associates, which is expanding from a location on Stone Oak Parkway.

“Consistency of care is critical for children,” as is following protocols dissimilar from adults, Neujahr said, like prescribing specific medications and dosages, dealing with an out-of-socket limb, or even reacting quickly to flu symptoms because youngsters become ill faster.

Children’s Hospital already has a freestanding outpost at Westover Hills and the health care system itself has another emergency room at Alon Market at Northwest Military Highway and Wurzbach Road.

The company also is broadening its San Antonio reach with the opening of an ER with expertise in both adult and pediatric care.

The location at 281 and Bitters Road (close to Heimer Road) debuted in June, creating an offshoot linked to Christus Santa Rosa Hospital-Medical Center and downtown’s Children’s Hospital.

The ability to bring patients state-of-the-art care, and then send them as needed to Christus Santa Rosa Hospital in the South Texas Medical Center or to the downtown Children’s Hospital, is key to the new emergency center, said Asha Rodriguez, Christus Santa Rosa-Medical Center administrator.

The nine-bed emergency center will have physicians affiliated with Dr. Jim Brand’s Victoria Emergency Associates.

“It’s nice to have an ER here that’s connected to other hospitals and the Children’s Hospital,” said Chris Fails, mayor of nearby Hollywood Park. “There are other medical facilities in the area, but the more there are, the more it drives competition and improves care.”

The health care system, started some 150 years ago by three Catholic nuns who came from France to San Antonio to provide medical aid, has been in an aggressive expansion mode in the last decade to keep pace with competitors.

In March, Christus Santa Rosa bought the two San Antonio emergency-room locations of Elite Care and began improvements and repackaging.

At both locations on 281, there will be close ties between the ER staff and specialists at the downtown pediatric hospital, including pediatric specialists from Baylor College of Medicine, which has an affiliation with the hospital and its satellites.

Another New Braunfels expansion also is coming in the next year with a Hunters Creek structure, which will include visits from the cancer team, neurology, maternal fetal medicine specialist and other subspecialists to help with obstetrics/gynecological conditions, Neujahr said.

Christus already has a New Braunfels infirmary, an option for a second hospital near New Braunfels High School, and a freestanding emergency room at Creekside near competing Resolute Health Hospital.

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