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By Laura Landsbaum

Providing local access to high quality medical care stood out as a major consideration when The Woodlands’ first came to life under original founder George Mitchell’s vision. Now, as The Woodlands approaches its 50th anniversary, that founding tentpole remains crucial, but how it is delivered has changed in a number of ways.

The oldest hospital in The Woodlands is Memorial Hermann, which was built in 1985 as part of The Woodlands Development Company (now Howard Hughes) master plan, according to Justin Kendrick, Memorial Hermann The Woodlands Medical Center’s CEO and senior vice president. At that time, it was known as The Woodlands Community Hospital and began operations with 42 beds and approximately 200 employees. At present, Memorial Hermann is the largest hospital in The Woodlands with 457 beds. Memorial Hermann’s plan for patient care is to have a large, local hospital with full services, and to have a system of branches that offer less acuity, according to Kendrick.

In a medical setting, acuity has to do with the level of severity of a patient’s needs. With three ambulatory surgery centers in The Woodlands area, even surgeries that previously required an overnight hospital stay can be performed on an out-patient basis these days.

This is effectively a Hub and Spoke medical model, with the hubs being the main hospitals in The Woodlands and the spokes the branches and other offshoot medical facilities. The idea is that hub sites offer some more intensive treatments and a full array of services, and spoke sites, which are located throughout a community, offer ongoing treatment monitoring and support services.

The Woodlands has no shortage of hubs with Memorial Hermann, Houston Methodist, St. Luke’s, Texas Children’s and MD Anderson all having major facilities in this master planned community.

Urgent care centers add to this availability of medical choices, with two recently having opened in Market Street and Indian Springs. In addition, the Memorial Hermann Primary Care Clinic, developed by Howard Hughes, recently opened in 2022, in addition to the Creekside Park Medical Plaza. Those join existing centers in Willis, Magnolia and Bender’s Landing, allowing people to get less serious medical problems taken care of, undergo X-rays and even have telemedicine appointments available. A local imaging center adds to the medical convenience. In The Woodlands, you do not need to navigate a mammoth hospital for services.

But those world class hospitals are available when you need them.

The Woodlands’ Medical Growth Continues

Methodist Hospital opened its doors in The Woodlands in June of 2017 at the intersection of 242 and I-45 with 60 beds, on land that the hospital system owned for more than 20 years. Several expansions later, Methodist’s 64 acre campus in The Woodlands now boasts 293 beds and several medical office buildings.  More expansion plans are already in the works, Methodist’s business development officer Lisa Lovell notes.

“We have approval for another 100 (beds),” Lovell says. “There’s a master plan, and it will probably be built out in the next three to five years.”

And like with Memorial Hermann, Houston Methodist The Woodlands Hospital serves as a hub with services available at spokes throughout the area.

“We have primary care clinics,” Lovell says. “As an example, in Conroe we have a comprehensive care center. There’s imaging — you can get a mammogram. There’s primary care. Some of our specialists will rotate out there.” 

Medical convenience jumps out as another Live, Work, Play, Learn and Pray way of life in The Woodlands self-sustaining community. Taking care of yourself in The Woodlands brings plenty of options. Whether it’s going to an urgent care clinic to get a potential broken bone treated or a topnotch hospital for a more complex surgery, The Woodlands offers world-class medical options.

Methodist Hospital The Woodlands is one of the hubs in a land of medical convenience.
Methodist Hospital The Woodlands is one of the hubs in a land of medical convenience.


Many thanks to The Woodlands 50th Anniversary Sponsors:

FOUNDING – Howard Hughes

LEGACY – Woodforest National Bank

HERITAGE – Waste Connections Inc.

GOLD – Entergy Texas, Houston Methodist The Woodlands Hospital

SILVER – SVN/JBeard Real Estate, The John Cooper School

PRODUCER – The Woodlands Township