UTMB open and operational

September 17, 2009 8:05:39 AM PDT
One year after Hurricane Ike washed through the University of Texas-Medical Branch in Galveston, the hospital and medical school are back.The emergency room has reopened and is taking all trauma patients. It's awaiting a recertification to be officially called a Level 1 Trauma Center again. UTMB's hospital has 370 beds of its former 550 beds open. In the next month or so, it will have 400 beds. The other beds will be reopened when a new UTMB hospital tower is built.

Hundreds of people who were laid off last year have been rehired. And UTMB is still hiring as they work to reopen the pediatric ICU.

"We're functioning. All the programs are up and operational. We want to emphasize the excellence that's here, the infectious disease program the neuroscience program, the cardiology program, the program on aging. We can go on and on and on," said Dr. David Callender, UTMB's President.

Because of the damage to the psychiatry building, UTMB psychiatrists are treating patients at St Joseph Hospital in Houston.

Perhaps most importantly, UTMB scientists have raised $150 million for research since Hurricane Ike.

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Christi Myers is ABC13's Healthcheck reporter.

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