Baylor College of Medicine physicians, including pediatric specialties and sub specialties never before available in this area, have assumed clinical responsibilities at Children's Hospital of San Antonio, officially turning the facility into the region's first top level pediatric hospital, 1200 WOAI news reports.


  "From the beginning, Baylor has worked with the Children's Hospital of San Antonio to recruit pediatric specialists who were difficult to attract when there was not a stand-alone children's hospital,' said Dr. Mark Gilger, pediatrician-in-chief at CHOSA.


  Children's Hospital of San Antonio is operated by the CHRISTUS Santa Road Health System and marks a culmination of a decades-old dream to local officials to have a world class, free standing children's hospital in Bexar County.


  The hospital is located in the former Santa Road Hospital downtown.


  Pat Carrier, CHRISTUS CEO, says it is a major development for the health care of local children, and a huge step for medical care for the San Antonio region.


  "Pediatricians have been referring our most fragile patients to specialists in medical centers in Houston and Dallas," Carrier said.


  In fact, just this past week an 18 month old boy from Honduras underwent a life saving specialized heart procedure at Children's Hospital of San Antonio, an operation which previously would have been referred to pediatric facilities elsewhere.


  By December, 100 pediatric faculty positions are expected to be filled, and that number will double to 220 by January 2015.  Residents-in-Training will begin their work at CHOSA in the summer of 2015.


  Gilger says twelve pediatric specialists, in fields ranging from genetics to gastroenterology, are part of the new faculty at CHOSA.


  "These specialists have worked in their respective fields for years...earning the respect of their peers and generating cutting edge research projects that refine medicine for our kids," Cofer said.


  Meanwhile, Dr. Barry Cofer has been named Surgeon-in-Chief at CHOSA.


  Dr. Cofer is a prominent local pediatric surgeon, and himself is a graduate of Baylor College of Medicine.


  "This is a unique and critical time for the development of pediatric care in San Antonio, and I am deeply honored at being given the opportunity to lead the surgical services at the Children's Hospital," Dr. Cofer said.


  "The future for children's care in San Antonio could not be brighter."


  CHOSA is the first and the only free standing pediatric specialty and sub specialty hospital in metropolitan San Antonio.