A Quarter Century of Compassionate Care

NCBH New Construction Shot

As North Central Baptist Hospital celebrates 25 years in Stone Oak, the hospital stands tall as a landmark that’s still growing. “Think back to what Stone Oak was 25 years ago,” says President and CEO Bill Waechter, recalling the sparsely developing area north of North Loop 1604 once considered the rural outskirts of San Antonio. The neighborhoods have filled in the rocky landscape around the hospital, which has developed more and more services over the years and always maintained a reputation for excellent care. It stood as the first facility of its kind in the now bustling community. 

“The hospital has grown as the community has,” Waechter says. “So much has changed. We’re not a sleepy, hospital out in the country, but a full-fledged, comprehensive hospital with high-quality care.”

The growing complex just opened a new rehab unit in June, the fourth such location for Baptist Inpatient Rehab Units in San Antonio. The complex features twelve apartment-like living quarters, each with scenic views—a transitional place where recovery patients can access training for mobility and Activities for Daily Living (ADL). Along with serving general rehab patients, it’s the only rehab unit of its kind for stroke victims in the city and the only one in South Texas for amputees. North Central Baptist also will unveil a one-of-a-kind, $50 million orthopedic hospital in the fall of 2016. 

As it continues to expand, North Central Baptist stands as a touchstone for many Stone Oak residents who have received care here. Busy Stone Oak Parkway passes in front of it, reminding many commuters of milestones in their lives, such as the birth of a child in the sought-after, world-class labor and delivery suites, or the time a child got stitches in the kid-friendly children’s E.R. 

 Serving Families as they Grow

North Central Baptist developed a reputation as a premier birthing location, with extensive classes to prepare families for a birth, to give childcare, and to properly install car-seats. It also offers lactation classes and consultation. Along with an almost resort-like feel that pampers the mothers giving birth, with chair massages and a special after-delivery meal, the hospital also offers extraordinary care in its high-quality, neo-natal intensive care unit for premature babies. “No one wants to have to use those services, but discerning mothers prepare for the what-ifs,” Waechter says. “We have great outcomes and great care there.”

But far beyond a premier place to deliver babies, the hospital has strategically grown under Waechter’s leadership. It made a U.S. News and World Report list naming it Best Hospital 2013-14, where it earned metro area high-performing specialty ratings in gastroenterology, nephrology, and pulmonology. A new stroke center provides state-of-the-art care for stroke victims. The hospital has begun offering chemotherapy on-site. And a brand-new neurosurgical program can even handle brain surgery. A lot of careful strategic planning helped grow the hospital’s offerings. “We’ve spent a lot of time recruiting specialists,” Waechter says, proud of the facility’s new capabilities. “We’re having a record year in terms of service to the community.”

The hospital also has invested time in becoming an integral part of the community. With events such as the Summer Celebration, where families can enjoy back-to-school health workshops, food, rides, and health checks for toys, and a Winter Celebration in the parking lot that has included “snow,” the hospital has become a place that’s more than a haven to go when residents are sick. It’s become a place for them to gather, as well.

 Celebrating a milestone

For the 25th Anniversary, the hospital will host a celebration with staff, which numbers approximately 1,250. “We’ll recognize physicians and staff who were here from the beginning,” Waechter says. “It’s a milestone birthday.”

He says it’s gratifying to serve the needs of Stone Oak families as they age. “Twenty-five years ago they may have had a baby, but now they may need a knee replacement,” Waechter says. 

The new Baptist Orthopedic Hospital can handle that type of operation and recovery like no facility in the area, thanks to the new, three-story, 76,800 square foot building that will offer patient-centered orthopedic care. Designed to resemble a hotel, the state-of-the-art facility can address the diagnosis and treatment of diseases and injuries such as: 

  • Joint replacement and arthritis
  • Sports medicine injuries
  • Arthroscopic surgery
  • Spine treatment
  • Care and surgery of the shoulder, elbow, hand, wrist, knee, foot and ankle

“This is one of a kind. It’s a hospital within a hospital, designed from the conception by our physicians and by our staff and with our patients’ input. We want it to feel like a quote, unquote destination for patients with orthopedic needs,” Waechter says.

He points to the hospital’s vision statement as a driving force for all the growth it’s experienced. It states: We want to be the most loved hospital. 

“That’s because we want to provide great services and quality care for people who need it. Not everyone’s there to have babies,” Waechter says. “Sometimes it’s the worst day of their lives, but we hope to be there to make those days just a little bit better and to do that through a faith-based organization, Baptist Health System that’s been here for more than 100 years, and through compassionate team members. That’s our vision.”

For more information on the programs and services offered by North Central Baptist Hospital go to baptisthealthsystem.com or call 866-206-4742.


By Jennifer Chappell Smith