UT Area

Published on May 26th, 2017 | by Kate Harrington

Dell Seton Medical Center Now Open

The new Dell Seton Medical Center at the University of Texas opened on May 21, bringing Austin a new Level 1 trauma center and a new healthcare powerhouse partnership.

The $310 million teaching hospital is part of the new UT Dell Medical School and replaces University Medical Center Brackenridge, across 15th Street. UMC Brackenridge was Texas’s first public hospital, and has served Austin for more than 130 years.

The new hospital will have fewer beds than UMC Brackenridge, but more technology and a mission that officials hope will mean fewer people needing hospitalization. Central Health, Seton Healthcare Family, and the University of Texas at Austin all play a role in the Dell Seton Medical Center, and all bring goals for better health outcomes to the table.

Seton owns and operates the hospital, while Central Health, a Travis County healthcare district, helps provide indigent care. Voters approved a referendum in 2012 that means $35 million of taxpayer money goes to the medical school each year, which in turn helps provide healthcare for the entire community. The University of Texas, whose first Austin medical school class started in June 2016, will use the teaching hospital as part of its medical school training.

“We’re trying to figure out how to take advantage of this new technology, this new approach to things, and the medical school is a huge partner in that because that’s their whole goal, which is to transform the system,” Greg Hartman, Seton’s chief external and academic affairs officer, told the Austin American-Statesman.

Some of that technology includes video cameras in operating rooms to provide virtual teaching for medical students, the ability to accommodate multiple emergency vehicles in the event of a mass event, and redesigned interior space that emphasizes learning and efficiency.

The new hospital and the Dell Medical School are part of a larger health district taking shape in Austin’s downtown. That district itself is in turn part of a larger Innovation Zone, a district meant to foster collaboration between the healthcare, technology, and entrepreneurial communities in Austin.

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About the Author

Kate is a former reporter, most recently for the Austin Business Journal, where she covered real estate, economic development and transportation. Since 2010 she has been running Thumbtack Communications. Thumbtack provides writing, editing and marketing services. Before moving to Austin in 2002 Kate lived in her native New England, which she still visits often to escape the Texas heat.



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