September 22, 2016
Sen. Kirk Watson on Thursday laid out a vision for creating an “MD Anderson of the Brain” on the site of Austin State Hospital.
“We as Texans have a huge amount of pride in what MD Anderson does for cancer care for Houston and beyond. It’s a destination for care for people from around the world. It offers hope,” Sen. Watson said. “I believe we can offer the same hope here for folks with illnesses and injuries of the brain.”
The Austin State Hospital is slated for replacement in the near future because of deteriorating conditions and inadequate space for providing the current standard of care. According to the state’s Health and Human Services Commission, that presents a potential opportunity to work with Dell Medical School “to move past the obsolete system currently in place to provide the highest-value care, stressing quality for patients and cost-effectiveness for taxpayers.”
“We must seize this opportunity to make Austin the place where we model 21st century mental health care, where we focus on the person, not where they receive care or how it’s paid for,” Watson said.
Dr. Stephen Strakowski, founding chair of the Department of Psychiatry at Dell Medical School, said he envisions a center of excellence that integrates the best models along a broad continuum of care as well as new technologies and cutting-edge research to improve access and quality of care for all residents of Central Texas.
“To create this center of excellence on the Austin State Hospital campus, we are asking the entire community – the state, county, city and health care providers – to join us in changing the landscape of mental health for Central Texas,” Dr. Strakowski said.
Providing needed psychiatric care and facilities was a component of Watson’s 10 Goals in 10 Years to transform the health of the local community as well as the economy. Substantial progress has been made on each of the goals, including the creation of the Dell Medical School at the University of Texas and a new modern teaching and safety-net hospital.
Central Health, Austin Travis County Integral Care and an array of non-profit and local government partners have been working together in recent years to expand behavioral health services in our community, said Patricia Young Brown, president and chief executive officer of Central Health.
“As we implement even more significant transformation in the behavioral health system, we hope the expanded services gets us closer to realizing Central Health’s vision of Travis County as a model healthy community,” Young Brown said.
David Evans, chief executive officer of Austin Travis County Integral Care, added that “healthy living for everyone can only be achieved when we have access to a full range of behavioral health services from psychiatric crisis to ongoing community based supports. We are proud to partner with Senator Watson to achieve his bold vision of 10 Goals in 10 Years.”
10 Goals in 10 Years
In 2011, Sen. Watson laid out 10 Goals in 10 Years to help transform the health of our community as well as our economy:
Timeline of 10 Goals in 10 Years
Senator Kirk Watson lays out 10 Goals in 10 Years, a community vision for healthcare and economic prosperity. A medical school at the University of Texas at Austin, a 21st century teaching and safety net hospital and healthcare innovation are key components of that vision.
University of Texas Board of Regents votes to increase the percentage of Available University Fund allotment for UT Austin to support a medical school, guaranteeing a minimum of $25 million annually to start with, plus $40 million over 5 years for faculty and researcher recruitment — contingent upon voter approval of Proposition 1.
The voters of Travis County embrace that vision and approve Central Health’s Proposition 1, a property tax increase to invest in the medical school and the community healthcare transformation.
UT Board of Regents votes to fund construction of academic, research and medical office buildings and related infrastructure now totaling $436 million.
Austin Mayor Lee Leffingwell, in consultation with Senator Watson, establishes the “Innovation Zone Working Group” to study how best to stimulate innovation, creativity and economic activity in the northeast quadrant of downtown that would be home to the new medical school and modern teaching hospital as well as Central Health’s adjacent 14-acre property that was slated for redevelopment.
University of Texas hires Dr. Clay Johnston as the inaugural dean of the Dell Medical School with the mission of rethinking healthcare and medical education.
Construction begins on the Dell Medical School at The University of Texas at Austin.
Seton Psychiatric Emergency Department opens, providing a new point of care for patients experience a behavioral health crisis.
University of Texas announces a 10-year, $50 million gift from the LIVESTRONG Foundation to create the LIVESTRONG Cancer Institutes of the Dell Medical School.
Construction begins on the Dell Seton Medical Center at The University of Texas, a 21st century teaching and safety net hospital that will replace UMC Brackenridge.
Central Health opens the first phase of the Southeast Health and Wellness Center, providing patients a full range of healthcare services, including dental care, family medicine, specialty care, behavioral health care, and an on-site pharmacy.
Austin Community College begins work on a biotechnology research lab known as a wet lab that will allow Austin-area biotech companies to test new products while also serving as an educational resource for ACC students.
The Sandra Joy Anderson Health and Wellness Center at Huston-Tillotson University opens its doors to provide medical and behavioral health services in a primary care setting.
Central Health Board adopts the Brackenridge Campus Master Plan.
The final phase of the Southeast Health and Wellness Center opens with expanded healthcare services, such as radiology, a laboratory, and healthcare navigation support as well as exercise classes, and other wellness programs. The Center also serves as the teaching and learning hub for Dell Medical School faculty members and students.
Capital City Innovation, Inc. is created by anchor institutions and Founding Members: The University of Texas at Austin, Central Health and Seton Healthcare Family. The mission of Capital City Innovation is to provide for and support the creation, growth and sustainability of an Innovation Zone that enhances Austin’s unique cultural, community and economic assets. A primary purpose of the Innovation Zone is to foster healthcare transformation that will serve the entire community.
Judge Guy Herman Center for Mental Health Crisis Care breaks ground to provide short-term emergency psychiatric crisis care that includes stabilization, assessment and treatment in a secure, protected residential environment for individuals experiencing behavioral health crises.
Dell Medical School opens its first building and welcomes the first class of students.
LIVESTRONG Cancer Institutes of the Dell Medical School names inaugural executive director, Dr. Gail Eckhardt.
Dell Seton Medical Center at The University of Texas scheduled to open.
Redevelopment of Central Health’s Brackenridge property targeted to begin.