1970: Stopping Heart Transplants

Dr. DeBakey stops heart transplants after performing his 12th case (a predetermined number) because anti-rejection medication is not fully developed. The development of cyclosporine came a decade later and the transplant program resumed in 1984.

1976: Protecting Against Floods

Record-setting rain falls on the afternoon of April 19, causing nearly $2 million worth of damage to the unfinished Neurosensory Center. Additionally, water smashes through a wall in the Fondren-Brown Building and debris floods the Main building. When the rain finally stops, several departments are destroyed. A seven-day, around-the-clock recovery effort revives The Methodist Hospital and the hospital invests $800,000 in anti-flood barriers. Prior to this event, no hospital in the Texas Medical Center had ever flooded.

1977: A New Chairman

Son of beloved Methodist Bishop A. Frank Smith, A. Frank Smith Jr. is named Chairman of The Methodist Hospital Board of Directors.

1977: The Scurlock Tower

Ground is broken for the new 21-story Scurlock Tower. The building is named in recognition of Mr. and Mrs. Eddy Scurlock for their many contributions to the hospital including the negotiation and purchase of the land on which the tower sits. When it opens to the public in 1980, it has the largest ambulatory surgery units in the country, extensive outpatient diagnostic programs, exercise equipment, gourmet restaurant Chez Eddy, and the highly specialized Sid Richardson Institute for Preventive Medicine. It is linked to the main hospital by an elevated walkway and is the city’s first high-rise condominium medical office tower. Its 21 floors symbolize the advancements preventive medicine will make in the 21st century, Ted Bowen says at its dedication.

1979: Hospital expands to 1,506 beds

Hospital expands to 1,506 beds when six floors are added to the Fondren building. A grant from the Fondren Foundation provides space for diagnostic, therapeutic and research capabilities. The Fondren expansion adds six floors, 375 beds, additional ICU beds, operating rooms and a special room for maternity patients. That year, Chinese officials visit a new echocardiography lab on Fondren 10, where they glimpse 6-inch pictures of a patient’s heart in motion. Here, cardiologist Dr. Howard S. Rubin uses state-of-the-art radiographic equipment to perform a cardiac catheterization in a new Fondren labs.