September 20, 2011
It’s time for a Medical School in Austin.
That sounds so good.
Such an easy, obvious declaration. But despite the certainty behind that statement and the diversity of people who will chant it like it’s a mantra … it hasn’t happened. So we wait. And we watch.
We watch Austin grow into one of the largest cities in the country without a medical school and teaching hospital. We watch the University of Texas at Austin stand as one of only a handful of Tier One research institutions without a medical school.
Meanwhile, we see all the things a medical school, teaching hospital and additional health resources offer. And we watch other cities and regions seize these opportunities and assets that we want and need:
— We see the medical schools and teaching hospitals … and the doctors who start in those hospitals and spend their lives working in those communities long after their training and residencies are completed.
— We see the improved, cost-effective opportunities for medical care open to folks who don’t have or can’t afford health insurance … and the cutting-edge treatments and cures that people right here at home need to be healthier, or even need to survive, but that they have to travel to places like Houston and Dallas to get.
— We see the jobs and economic booms in biotech, health science and medical research that regions with medical schools, teaching hospitals and related assets can jump on … and the business startups, technology licensing, and tens of thousands of jobs launched by that research and discovery.
We see all of it.
And then we look here at Austin and we see … Well, we see that we don’t have these things.
As of today, as of right now, that’s going to change.
Just look at who we have in this room, ready to go.
They’re here knowing, and I’m here today to say, that it’s time to act. To look forward. To say with certainty and purpose that it really is time to create jobs and boost our economy by building on healthcare and medical research. It’s time for a new way of life that will make this healthy community even healthier.
It’s time for a medical school and health science center in Austin. And if we look at our history, we’ll see that we have a great chance to fulfill this vision.