Expanding capacity: Hospitals in the Katy region are expanding to cope with population growth

The four hospitals in the area are modernizing their healthcare systems in response to Katy’s growing population. Some of the growth is programmatic, while other expansions, including within Memorial Hermann Katy Hospital and Houston Methodist West Hospital, are in physical space. (Courtesy of Memorial Hermann Katy/Community Impact Newspaper)

Hospital Growth

The four main hospitals in the Katy area are working on projects to expand their facilities and services to cater to the growing population. The projects are in various stages of development.

1. Hermann Katy Memorial Hospital will add a new office building; revamping the department of women’s services; and expand the Emergency Services Department, Breast Care Center and Ironman Sports Medicine Institute.

  • Number of new beds: 94
  • Cost: $167 million
  • Timeline: March 2022-fall 2024

2. MD Anderson West Houston will expand its operations to Sugar Land and open a surgical center on the Northwest and West campuses.

  • Number of new beds: to be determined
  • Cost: to be determined
  • Timeline: spring 2023-to be determined

3. Houston Methodist West Hospital added 32 medical surgery beds in the spring with a dedicated digestive health space slated to open in the hospital’s northwest tower in June. The hospital is now looking to the next phase of expansion: a third practice building for orthopedics, sports medicine and physical therapy.

  • Number of new beds: 32
  • Cost: $87 million
  • Timeline: spring 2022-fall 2023

4. Texas Children’s Hospital West develops a master plan to fill unused space in its building; build a new parking garage; build another medical office building; and expand outpatient, inpatient, sleep medicine and emergency services.

  • Number of new beds: 22
  • Cost: to be determined
  • Timeline: June 2022-to be determined

Sources: Hermann Katy Memorial, Houston Methodist West Hospital, MD Anderson West, Texas Children’s West/Community Impact Newspaper

Growing need

From 2011 to 2020, the population size of each zip code in the Katy region has increased. Area hospitals are expanding to keep up with growth.

  • 77493, +77.72%
  • 77494, +126.33%
  • 77441, +125.19%
  • 77450, +11.04%
  • 77094, +29.17%
  • 77449, 42.7%

Katy area hospital officials recognize the need to expand space and services at their facilities to keep up with Katy’s growth.

Between 2011 and 2020, the six postal codes that make up Community Impact JournalThe coverage area of ​​77449, 77493, 77494, 77441, 77450 and 77094 saw a 57.31% increase in population from 246,673 to 388,036, according to data from the US Census Bureau. The Katy Area Economic Development Board expects the area to gain an additional 31,185 residents by 2025.

As the region’s population steadily increases, Memorial Hermann Katy Hospital, Houston Methodist West Hospital, Texas Children’s Hospital West Campus and MD Anderson West Houston will spend at least $254 million to expand their facilities and services over the of the next five years. Projects include an expansion of the trauma center, new medical office buildings, and renovated sports health and women’s health centers.

Jerry Ashworth, CEO of Memorial Hermann Katy as well as the Cypress campus, said the goal of these hospitals is to provide a level of care and access that rivals Texas Medical Center. Memorial Hermann Katy and other hospitals are using their relationship with Katy ISD, the Katy Area EDC and strategic planners to better understand where the health care gaps are, he said.

“People who live in Katy want to receive their care in Katy,” Ashworth said. “They don’t want to go anywhere else. … So that’s what we’re trying to build and create.

Katy Area EDC President Chuck Martinez agreed that area hospitals are evolving to address service inequities with TMC.

“It’s an interesting dimension, in terms of cost and quality, that even the healthcare industry is trying to fill the gaps within their own profession,” Martinez said. “Just because you live in an underserved area doesn’t mean you should be deprived of this quality of care.”

Like the Texas Medical Center

The four main hospitals in the Katy region all have plans to provide greater care capacities in the region that are in line with the TMC, according to hospital leaders.

Matt Timmons, vice president of Texas Children’s West Campus, said the hospital will fill nearly 6,000 square feet of unused space on the existing campus over the next two years. In addition, the construction of a parking lot began in June to precede a new medical office, the cost of which has not yet been determined.

Similarly, MD Anderson West Houston is adding technology to mirror its TMC campus, including MRI, CT scanners and additional tools for radiology diagnostics as well as capabilities for anesthesia and endoscopy.

“We’re reducing the need for people to travel great distances,” said Kent Postma, vice president of Houston’s West Campus. “As the population grows west and the infrastructure develops, we’ve been able to move with it.”

Additionally, Houston Methodist West Hospital is implementing several projects that total more than $87 million and will span the next five years as part of its master plan, according to COO Kyle Stanzel.

The hospital broke ground in May on a six-story, $65 million medical office building that is expected to open by the end of 2023, Stanzel said. This will be the third medical practice on campus, offering physiotherapy, orthopedics and sports medicine services.

Meanwhile, Memorial Hermann Katy launched its $167 million expansion project in March that will focus on expanding the emergency department, with later phases bringing additions to the women’s health department and its sports medicine business, Ashworth said. Memorial Hermann Katy is the exclusive provider of KISD’s sports training program, according to Ashworth. When it comes to emergency services, that department must grow in tandem with the population, Ashworth said.

Trauma care

Memorial Hermann Katy is designated by the Texas Department of State Health Services as a Level III Trauma Center. It’s the only Level III trauma center in the Katy area, Ashworth said.

“We are seeing a significant increase in our trauma volumes,” he said.

As a Level III trauma center, Memorial Hermann Katy is expected to provide 24-hour care by emergency physicians; the rapid availability of general surgeons and anesthesiologists; and rescue care for other rural and community hospitals, according to the American Trauma Society.

With its expansion project, the hospital plans to double the size of its emergency department to 40,000 square feet and add treatment rooms, CT scanners and other improved equipment as well as trauma and trauma capabilities. intensive care, neurosurgery, vascular surgery and thoracic surgery. , said Ashworth.

The time frame within which emergency services must provide life-saving treatment that will stabilize a patient is vital. Medical professionals call this period “the golden hour,” Martinez said.

“In some trauma situations, you’re literally in that hour window where your life hangs in the balance,” he said.

To that end, Brian Petrilla, deputy chief of Fort Bend County Emergency Medical Services, identified the lack of Level I trauma centers — the highest designation — in the region as a significant care gap. health. Petrilla said a growing population inevitably puts a strain on emergency services.

“We are starting to see that we need more ambulances in the [Katy] region,” he said. “A growing population also means more traffic, which makes it harder for us to get around.”

Growth challenges

Besides accessibility and trauma care, other challenges the healthcare industry faces as it adapts to a growing population include staffing shortages and supply chain issues.

Petrilla said EMS has been impacted by supply chain hurdles.

“[Medications] are either out of stock or no longer making them,” he said. “It takes a long time to fix things [and] to buy new things. This is probably the #1 stressor on EMS.

A problem for the four hospitals in the region is staffing and retention. According to data from the Texas Health and Human Services Commission, demand for all physicians is expected to worsen statewide, with a shortfall of 6,218 physicians in 2018 expected to reach 10,330 physicians in 2032. .

In the Gulf Coast region – which includes Katy – family medicine, pediatrics, general internal medicine, nephrology and psychiatry are the specialties expected to see the most shortages.

“We need to be able to keep pace with our employee pool, whether it’s increasing our talent base or whether we need to educate and attract skilled healthcare providers,” Postma said.

Memorial Hermann Katy has a strategy to develop these partnerships at the high school level to streamline a workforce pipeline in Katy’s healthcare industry.

“One of the things we’re doing is partnering with various educational organizations to create more of a pipeline for people who grew up in Katy, want to live in Katy, and want to work in Katy,” Ashworth said. “This pipeline starts with Katy ISD.”

The Miller Career & Technology Center at KISD offers a clinical rotation and a core EMT program. For the 2022-23 academic year, participating students will partner with Memorial Hermann Katy to continue clinical rotations, said Maria DiPetta, media relations and multimedia manager for KISD.

Houston Methodist West Hospital has a similar strategy to address staffing shortages, in which it uses its education resources to bolster the workforce pipeline.

Stanzel said the hospital’s head nurse is an advisor to the University of Houston’s nursing program, and they often talk about how that relationship could be beneficial.

“[UH is] have active conversations [to determine]: How can we take a retired nurse and bring her into teaching so that she does not leave the field completely? ” he said. “It is also programmatic: how to create additional programs and open additional places? »