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News & Announcements

Mission Trail expands its NICU to meet high demand for preemie care on south side, surrounding area

Aug 3, 2023

(San Antonio, TX)  ­­– Now even more of the tiniest infants -- preemies -- born with special medical needs, can receive lifesaving care, thanks to expansions in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at Mission Trail Baptist Hospital on the south side. Hospital leadership recognized the need amid a boom in population and growth on the south side and with the closing of Texas Vista Medical Center and its ob-gyn services nearby. Mission Trail Baptist Hospital, which is owned by Tenet Health and Baptist Health System, received approval last year for more than $1.9 million to add an additional 1,600 square feet to its existing NICU. The project was completed and opened in May to a flurry of activity and success.

Erik Frederick, CEO of Mission Trail Baptist Hospital, said that in recent months, the hospital has experienced a significant increase in obstetric (OB) patient visits, gynecology patient visits and procedures, and OB Emergency Department visits from patients.

“This year in March, we delivered 57 babies, which quickly jumped to 97 deliveries just one month later in April. May was about the same,” Frederick said. “Our Nest Women’s Services Department responded to the need by opening up more NICU beds. Within 24 hours of opening, the expanded NICU unit was full,” he said.

Frederick added that Mission Trail has also received the green light to begin expanding its Nest Women’s Services Labor and Delivery, Postpartum and Recovery Unit and its OB Emergency Department, which will increase the current number of total beds in those units together to 42. “We are seeing a very busy women’s unit overall and, like the NICU, we expect to quickly fill it, once expanded and completed,” he said.

Frederick said he is also proud that many nurses and staff were hired on from Texas Vista Medical Center after their women’s services offices closed earlier this spring. Several new OB/GYN physicians from Texas Vista also joined the staff at Mission Trail. “We are privileged that these outstanding professionals chose to join our team at Mission Trail Baptist where they will continue to serve south side patients with compassion and excellent care,” he said.

Mission Trail Baptist Hospital welcomed 12 nurses from Texas Vista Medical Center to its Women’s Services and NICU Departments who are already making a positive difference in the lives of the preemies and families in their care.                                       

Maria Tierranegra, RN, was among those hired to work in the NICU at Mission Trail Baptist Hospital from Texas Vista Medical Center after Texas Vista closed its doors in May.

“We love it here, Tierranegra said. “Everyone has been so welcoming and we get to continue doing the work we love close by to our own homes,” she said. “I’m excited about the NICU expansion because it is helping to fill the gap for women’s and preemie care in this area. It’s great to be a part of this growing service for women who need it and they don’t have to travel far to get the care they need,” Tierranegra said.

Frederick agrees. “Mission Trail Baptist Hospital has proudly served the south side of San Antonio since 2011 and we are committed to providing care close to home for the citizens and families who live here. The Brooks Development Authority, for example, is investing billions of dollars in the Brooks area, a 1,308-acre mixed-use community. Mission Trail Baptist stands ready to grow right alongside the neighborhood and the entire south side to meet its health care needs for years to come,” he said.

To learn more about the full spectrum of women’s and NICU services at the Nest at Mission Trail Baptist Hospital, visit

Maria Tierranegra, RN, (left) came from Texas Vista Hospital's NICU and now works side-by-side with longtime Baptist Nurse Norma Hernandez, RN, at Mission Trail Baptist Hospital.

Mission Trail Baptist Hospital expands its NICU with lifesaving care and technology to accommodate increasing number of infants in need.