July 27, 2021

Texas Vista Medical Center Earns Level III Maternal Designation And Announces Partnership With Palo Alto College’s Educate South Initiative

Elevating the Level of Care and Post-Secondary Opportunities for Families on the Southside of San Antonio

(San Antonio, TX) – The Birthplace at Texas Vista Medical Center has earned a Level III maternal care center designation from the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS), making it the only facility on the Southside of San Antonio offering this advanced level of care. This designation comes on the heels of an announcement by Palo Alto College to ensure that infants born at Texas Vista Medical Center have access to post-secondary education.  

“We are proud of this achievement and collaboration as it speaks to our clinical expertise and the ability to care for every mother and baby including those with complex needs as well as help pave a bright future with educational opportunities,” said Jon Turton, President, Texas Vista Medical Center. “Bringing together programs that focus on health and education not only improve the quality of life for residents on the Southside, it also means healthier families, a healthier community and a healthy future.”

Texas Vista Medical Center recently launched Healthy Horizons; a program created to actively address the disproportionate health disparities in south Bexar County. The program promotes new models of health equity through health screenings, partnerships with key community partners like the San Antonio Food Bank, and activities designed to promote healthy lifestyles. Another one of those partners is Palo Alto College through its Educate South community initiative which is focused on beginning educational awareness at the earliest years by building public and private partnerships that create and sustain a college-going culture in south Bexar County.  

“As a community partner, Palo Alto College is committed to ensuring educational access for students of all ages,” said Dr. Robert Garza, President of Palo Alto College. “In order to fully develop the potential of our community’s children, Educate South embraces the fact that education starts at birth.”

About The Birthplace and Level III Maternal Designation

In addition to earning a Level III Maternal Care designation, The Birthplace offers the full scope of services for both mother and newborn.  These services include a Level III NICU, which is equipped to care for newborns with complex needs, an Obstetric Emergency Department, board-certified obstetrics/gynecology physicians onsite 24 hours a day and dedicated to the special needs of patients, and access to Maternal Fetal Medicine physicians. 

To earn a Level III designation, facilities must demonstrate their ability to:

  • Provide care for pregnant and postpartum patients with significant complex medical, surgical and/or obstetrical conditions that present a high risk of maternal morbidity or mortality, as well provide care for patients at low risk
  • Deliver access to a full range of medical and maternal subspecialists, surgical specialists, and behavioral health specialists
  • Undertake major surgeries and other complex procedures on-site
  • Ensure physicians with critical care training are consistently available to collaborate with maternal fetal medicine physicians and/or obstetrics and gynecology physicians with obstetrics training and privileges in maternal care
  • Employ skilled personnel with documented training, competencies, and annual continuing education, specific for the population served; and
  • Conduct outreach education to lower-level designated facilities, among other capabilities.

"Nothing is more important to us than supporting the health and well-being of every mother and baby who comes through our doors," said Houmam Al-Hakeem, MD, Chief of Staff of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Texas Vista Medical Center.  "This designation is a testament to the quality of care we provide and to our commitment to serve the needs of families in this community."