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3 hospitals plan facilities in Pearland

By Flori Meeks, Houston Chronicle

Memorial Hermann Health System is the latest agency to announce plans to build a medical campus in Pearland.

The $80 million project, which will include an acute-care hospital and an outpatient convenient care center, is one of several hospital developments coming to the Pearland area.

"We've had three hospitals announced since October," said Matt Buchanan, president of the Pearland Economic Development Corp.

The other hospital projects include a $71 million 30-bed, 144,000-square-foot acute-care HCA hospital at Texas 288 and Shadow Creek Parkway. The facility is expected to open in January 2015.

University General Hospital has announced plans to construct a 50-bed acute-care hospital on Pearland Parkway. This hospital will be part of a multipurpose medical complex development that also will include a 50,0000-square-foot medical office building and a 42-unit memory-care facility to complement University General's 80-unit Trinity Oaks senior living community on Pearland Parkway.

Construction could begin this year.

"We're realizing growth in the 288 Corridor, and these organizations want to meet the health-care needs of this community," Buchanan said.

"We're very excited a world-class medical organization like Memorial Hermann has chosen to make such a major investment in our community and about all of the other announcements."

The Memorial Hermann project will be built on 40 acres on the southbound side of Texas 288 near FM 518. The site already is home to an outpatient imaging center, diagnostic lab and medical office building.

The new campus will include Memorial Hermann's new concept in health care, a convenient care center that will offer adult and pediatric primary care, specialty physicians, sports medicine and rehabilitation and a 24-hour emergency room.

Memorial Hermann opened its first such facility Jan. 7 in the Humble area, near Summer Creek High School.

The Pearland facility will be the second facility to implement the Memorial Hermann's convenient care concept.

"It literally can be a one-stop shop for all of your outpatient needs," said Erin Asprec, chief executive officer of Memorial Hermann Southeast Hospital.

"It takes the guesswork out of selecting the right care. A lot of times patients don't know where to go and end up in the ER. We have both options.

"We're really trying to find a model that's convenient for the community."

The campus' 64-bed hospital will include an intensive-care unit, operating rooms, cardiac catheterization labs, medical/surgical units, women's care and neonatology services.

The hospital will have the capacity to be expanded to a 128-bed facility.

"Memorial Hermann Southeast Hospital has served the Pearland community for over 25 years," Asprec said. "Within those 25 years Pearland has seen tremendous growth, and that growth is expected to increase by 17.5 percent in the next five years."

Memorial Hermann Southeast, a 274-bed facility at 11800 Astoria Blvd., is at capacity now, Asprec said. The Memorial Hermann Health System will have to have another facility to continue meeting Pearland's needs.

"We're literally growing with Pearland," Asprec added.

It has helped, she said, that Memorial Hermann and the city of Pearland already have a good working relationship.

The proximity of the Texas Medical Center is a plus, too, Asprec said.

"If patients need higher-level care like a transplant or open-heart surgery, they can be transferred quickly and seamlessly," she said.

In addition to the hospitals coming to the area, Pearland has been gaining a number of other medical facilities.

Kelsey-Seybold is building a four-story, $36 million administrative headquarters on an 18-acre site at Kirby Drive and Shadow Creek Parkway, the Pearland Economic Development Corp. says.

Pearland Surgery Center recently completed a three-story medical office building at 15015 Kirby Drive, and Texas Children's Hospital has located pediatrics and OB/GYN facilities next door to each other on Broadway.

According to 2010 U.S. Census figures, Pearland is the fastest-growing city in the Houston area, the second-fastest growing city in Texas and the 15th fastest-growing city in the U.S.

Asprec, a 10-year Pearland resident, said she attributes the expanding population to several factors.

"First, I think the city leadership is terrific," she said. "They really have a plan for the city.

"Two, they've created a nice community for families. And three, It's a pretty nice, central location."