May 23, 2024

Addressing the Need for Early Breast Cancer Detection in Bexar County – University Health Breast Center

The Texas Department of State Health Services found that in 2022, breast cancer was the leading cancer diagnosis for women in South Texas, with 19,921 new cases diagnosed that year. For a better chance of remission, early detection is critical. University Health (UH) has served San Antonio and Bexar County for over 100 years and saw the growing need for breast cancer services in the area. To meet this need, UH opened its state-of-the-art Breast Center.

The UH Breast Center is located on Wurzbach Parkway on the north side of San Antonio. The center is designed to provide outpatient treatment and diagnostic services, as well as services such as mammograms, breast ultrasounds, and biopsies. The building, previously home to a Credit Union, was redesigned to accommodate its new medical identity. To better understand UH and the needs of the community, Cleary Zimmermann’s Principal of Healthcare Practice, David Bourassa, PE worked with the UH and interior designers, LK Design to better understand the specific needs of the space. The top priority of UH and the design team was patient comfortability. As cancer diagnosis and treatment can be mentally and physically draining, the Breast Center team wanted this space to be as calming and accommodating as possible.

Medical requirements for the building included the ability to accommodate imaging equipment like mammogram machines. The vault from the previous tenant had to be removed to make space for medical equipment. Our team included special lighting and fixtures that were designed and put in place in the main entry and waiting areas to help patients be more at ease while waiting for services. David and the Cleary Zimmermann (CZ) team worked closely with LK Design to ensure the HVAC systems could accommodate the large lighting systems to prevent the lights from physically swaying from the airflow from the HVAC system. The team also kept the building at a temperature that would not make the patients feel too cold when having to go through various procedures.

Sources Cited:

Texas Cancer Registry, Cancer Epidemiology and Surveillance Branch. Female Breast Cancer in Texas, 2014–2018. Austin, TX. Texas Department of State Health Services, 2022

Garcia, Laura. “University Health to Convert Credit Union Building for Women’s Medical Services.” Expressnews.Com, 1 Sept. 2021,