HOUSTON-St. Luke’s Episcopal Health System is ready to develop a 263,000-sf health-care campus on a 24-acre tract along Interstate 45. The health provider bought the site last year. The Woodlands Community Medical Center will boast an 82-bed facility plus a consortium of services by several Texas Medical Center organizations. A February ground-breaking has been set, with completion anticipated in 2003.

“What we’re going to do basically is carry out a standing expansion plan,” Michael Jhin, president and CEO of St. Luke’s tells GlobeSt.com. “We’ve been building satellites, though none as large as this, and this is as far out as we’re going to go.” He says there is a lack of health-care resources in the Woodlands area. “Residents are migrating out of the Woodlands area to get care,” says Jhin. “We think our location, right on Interstate 45, is strategic. It can also serve the community of Conroe.”

Michael Richmond, president and CEO of the Woodlands Operating Co. LP, sold the property to St. Luke’s, recognizing the need for better health-care services. The St. Luke’s project will meet residents’ needs “while allowing them access to the local physicians they’ve grown to know and rely upon.” Actually, he says, this collaborative effort makes the best use of community resources.

St. Luke’s will work with Texas Children’s Hospital, which will provide pediatric services in the new integrated medical campus. Other participants on campus include TIRR Rehabilitation Centers for physical therapy services, the Hospice at the Texas Medical Center, and the Texas Heart Institute. St. Luke’s is continuing its discussions with these entities to clarify and define their respective roles.

Three acres have been dedicated to a pond. “We don’t want the campus to be imposing. We want to make it very inviting-warm, friendly, connected to people,” says Jhin. “We intend to create a welcoming environment that will use St. Luke’s compassion and patient-focused care to build on the strength of our technology.” The site is located at the southwest corner of Interstate 45 and State Road 242, also known as College Park Drive.

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