COVID-19: One Year later

On May 13, 2020 the Air Force Thunderbirds treated San Antonio with a flyover of our city and our four medical districts in salute to our health care workers fighting COVID-19. Looking back over the past year, our city has held a unique position in the country with it’s contributions to the development of vaccines. San Antonio is highly desired home for retirees for its many connections to health care and professionals in the Bio-Science fields.  With data provided by the San Antonio Economic Development Foundation, here is a limited selection of San Antonio’s “Six Degrees of Separation” for your consideration.

Just think of it: One out of six employees in San Antonio are working in the healthcare and bioscience industry. Which means there are only six degrees of separation between any one resident and a bio-medical professional. Arguably, San Antonio’s general population has been given an advantage in the fight over COVID. We are home to a cognizant, knowledgeable, and experienced collective of professionals living and working amongst us. The pandemic has been devastating to too many families across the country, but thanks to our medical workforce, our success and projected recovery has been better than that of some other states. We are truly grateful.  We appreciate the many contributions and advantages our health care industry has provided to the citizens of San Antonio.   

With the completion of the Base Realignment & Closure process, San Antonio became home to all basic and specialty medical training for the Department of Defense (DoD). The project created a military medical complex that is the largest of its kind in the world, the new Medical Education Training Campus at Fort Sam Houston. The campus offers 30 academic programs to an average of 9,000 students a day, with an estimated 24,000 graduates a year. In addition, the new San Antonio Military Medical Center is the largest of the nation’s two military medical centers, and operates a world-renowned burn unit, a rehabilitation facility for wounded soldiers and the only Level I trauma center that treats both civilians and military personnel. The center also houses a significant amount of translational and clinical research, including the only DoD research laboratory focused on traumatic injury, the U.S. Army Institute of Surgical Research.

The greater San Antonio area is also home to more than 40 hospitals, including four major hospital systems, with a total of more than 5,000 staffed beds. The 900-acre South Texas Medical Center claims the region’s largest concentration of medical treatment, research, education and related activities, with more than 75 medical-related facilities. The South Texas Medical Center is the second of two Level I trauma centers, serving both civilian and military populations, and is ranked second only to New York City in terms of disaster preparedness by medical facilities, with all hospitals in the metropolitan area linked in real time to coordinate patient reception, staffing and resource allocation during disasters.

San Antonio is home to a growing number of established and emerging bioscience companies that include new medical technologies and pharmaceutical companies.

In the areas of research, the Texas Biomedical Research Institute is one of the country’s leading independent biomedical research institutions. It operates the world’s largest computing cluster for genetics and genomics research, as well as the nation’s only privately operated, maximum containment (BSL-4) laboratory. It is also the site of the world’s largest baboon research colony at the Southwest National Primate Research Center. Southwest Research Institute is a leading, non-profit applied science institution that conducts biomedical research for government and industry. South Texas Accelerated Research Therapeutics is a preclinical and Phase I clinical trials organization, and conducts the world’s largest Phase I medical oncology program.

These are only a few of the many companies and organizations that have given our city an advantage over COVID-19, putting us in a leadership role, without even thinking about it, for the rest of the nation.

There is not enough room here to name each and every one of our employees. Please just know you are all Super Heroes in Scrubs, and we Thank You for all you are doing.

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