September 20, 2011
Think for a minute about the inventory of assets this community can bring together to help us create a medical school and health science center in Austin:
— We have a world-class research university that already trains students in basic sciences, pharmacy, nursing, public health, healthcare policy, social work, and other disciplines that complement comprehensive medical training and its growing commercialization.
— We have a healthcare district that’s matured from start-up to successful, and because of that success, it’s positioned to address its deeply held mission – to ensure that every Austinite has access to adequate healthcare – from innovative angles.
— We have partnerships between the Seton Healthcare Family, UT-Southwestern and the UT Medical Branch in Galveston, through which Austin receives 200 medical residents in 11 different programs, as well as 100 third- and fourth-year medical students, to train in our hospitals.
— We have more than 200 biotech and life science companies, which employ an estimated 7,000 people in the region.
— We have the Dell Children’s Medical Center, a truly one-of-a-kind place offering Central Texas families an incredible range of healthcare services and a unique, family-centered approach to healing.
— There’s the Dell Pediatric Research Institute, created by the Dell Foundation and the University of Texas – a state-of-the-art facility devoted to understanding and ending childhood diseases and disorders.
— And we have growing healthcare services for veterans, including a new facility – now under construction – that will have space for significantly expanded services and more than 300 employees.
That’s a very small part of the list. It all adds up to the gradual, almost organic growth of medical education and research in Austin.
What we need is a spark, a catalyst, real goals – a focused community effort. It’s time to go from incremental to transformational.