Attached, please find a report prepared by The Huron Group related to University Medical Center Brackenridge and questions relating to a primary teaching hospital in Austin.
I commissioned this study as part of our community’s effort to get good answers to questions critical to achieving our 10 Goals in 10 Years. I wanted expert, third-party assistance in evaluating issues related to the status of UMCB, the role it plays as our safety net hospital, better or best practices for having a teaching hospital and other questions. Candidly, many local experts, while knowledgeable and willing to express points of view, tend to advocate positions based upon specific interests.
We were able to get some outstanding people to help us and, you will see, they did an excellent job. Jordan Cohen, M.D., one of the report’s authors, is a former president of the Association of American Medical Colleges and served as the nation’s leading spokesperson for academic medicine. He’s served in a variety of roles, including dean of a medical school, a medical faculty member at Harvard, Brown and Tufts, and various leadership positions of hospital medical staffs. He’s currently a Professor of Medicine and Public Health at George Washington University.
Mitchell Rabkin, M.D., the other consultant and author, led Boston’s Beth Israel Hospital (a major teaching hospital affiliated with Harvard Medical School) for three decades. In that time, he was involved in design and construction of inpatient units and related services, ambulatory care facilities, and biomedical research buildings. He also worked with the Dean of Harvard Medical School to form an institute for education and research, which plays a significant role in medical education. He’s currently a Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School.
These preeminent experts have given us a definitive document that the community can, should and will rely on going forward.
There are a few key findings that I’ll highlight.
- “UMCB’s existing facilities, no matter how extensively renovated, would not meet even the well-recognized needs of its current clinical and educational programs, let alone position the hospital and its remarkably dedicated staff to fulfill their missions in the future. A new UMCB hospital is necessary and fully justified on these grounds alone.”
- “A new hospital is needed to position UMCB: To maintain and expand its public benefits as the principal safety-net hospital for Austin, Travis County and beyond.”
- “A new hospital is needed to position UMCB: To address the paucity of specialty services available to the patients of Central Health.”
- “A new hospital is needed to position UMCB: To help alleviate the shortage of institutional and community-based mental health services.”
- “The Austin community and the new medical school would gain substantial advantages by having a major teaching hospital.”
- While the Austin area has several other hospitals that could participate in some way in the clinical education of students, “experience has shown that leading, research-intensive medical schools, such as the one envisioned for UT Austin, are best served by having a principal teaching hospital partner that can support a large array of outstanding educational and clinical research programs. UMCB has already mounted such programs and is clearly best positioned to become a new school’s principal teaching hospital.”
- The “creation of a major teaching hospital in conjunction with a world-class medical school in Austin…would provide ready access to sophisticated cutting-edge medical care for all the region’s residents, and would serve as a creative catalyst for providing the community with greater access to care for the underserved. Moreover, a strong medical school and teaching hospital partnership would help alleviate the region’s shortage of physicians, nurse practitioners and other health professionals. Additional advantages include increasing employment opportunities, strengthening the area’s economic base, and advancing the region’s standing as a leading center of scientific and technical innovation.”
You can find a full copy of the report here. I hope you’ll take the time to review the report and analysis in full. Thanks for your interest and help.