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U.T. breaks ground on new $295 million dollar school and teaching hospital

U.T.'s new teaching hospital breaks ground today in Central Austin. The $295 million collaboration between the Seton Healthcare network and the University of Texas will include a 211 bed facility at Red River and 15th Street. The Seton Medical Center at U.T. will stand across the street from the University of Texas Dell Medical School. Just last week, The Livestrong Institute donated $50 million to create the LivestrongCancer Institute. Funds for the medical school were approved by Austin voters in 2012. The medical school is expected to open their doors in 2017.

From Seton:  Construction of Seton Healthcare Family’s $295 million, 211-bed teaching hospital started today, with four philosophical cornerstones unveiled that will guide its operations: improving medical care; respect and dignity for patients and their families; educating the next generation of clinicians; and innovating through both practice and research. Seton is part of Ascension, the nation’s largest Catholic and largest non-profit health system.

 

Seton Medical Center at The University of Texas will open in 2017 on the northwest corner of Red River and 15th streets. Across Red River, on the northeast corner, The University of Texas at Austin’s Dell Medical School already is under construction and scheduled to open in 2016.

 

Both buildings will be located on a new medical campus that also will accommodate medical school classrooms, faculty and physician offices and research facilities. The other buildings will surround “Seton Medical Center at UT” and stretch from Interstate Highway 35 west to Trinity Street.

 

Seton, which is investing $245 million in the project and raising another $50 million through philanthropy, will own and operate the new hospital. It will be built on land owned by UT-Austin and leased to Central Health, Travis County’s health care district, which will sub-lease the land to Seton at fair market value.

 

Like the medical school, Seton’s teaching hospital is part of Texas State Sen. Kirk Watson’s bold 10 Goals in 10 Years initiative to improve community health infrastructure. The hospital will replace University Medical Center Brackenridge, erected in the 1970s and not designed to meet the operational needs of a 21st century teaching hospital. Central Health, which owns UMC Brackenridge, is working with the community to determine how best to repurpose the hospital.

 

“By passing Proposition 1 in November 2012, voters pledged support for a higher standard of health care, expanded services and greater accessibility,” Jesús Garza, Seton president and chief executive officer, said. “To help meet that goal, Seton is building a modern teaching hospital worthy of the world-class Dell Medical School that we are working with UT to develop.”

 

The teaching hospital will anchor a platform for academic medicine and research across Central Texas that includes Seton Medical Center Austin, Dell Children’s Medical Center of Central Texas, Seton Shoal Creek Hospital and other facilities in the community.

 

“This project will have a positive impact on the delivery of health care in Central Texas for generations to come,” said Anthony R. Tersigni, Ed.D., FACHE, president and chief executive officer of Ascension. “As our integrated national health ministry works to reimagine how to provide care in an evolving health care environment, Seton Medical Center at The University of Texas is a shining example of the importance of working in collaboration with others in the community to transform health care for those we are privileged to serve.”

 

The Seton Fund, with help from community leader fundraising volunteers, is spearheading the effort to raise $50 million from the community – one of the largest goals for a single, nongovernmental building campaign in Austin’s history.

 

“We’re relying on the generosity of our community to help build this hospital, which will forever elevate health care in Austin,” said Pete Winstead, founder of Winstead PC and chair of Seton’s Future of Care Campaign for the new hospital.

 

To date, the capital campaign has announced major gifts of $1.5 million from University Federal Credit Union and $1 million each from the Lola Wright Foundation, Shivers Cancer Foundation and the Luci Baines Johnson and Ian Turpin family. More information is available online.

 

The combination of a new teaching hospital and medical school on the campus of a major research university is expected to create 15,000 new jobs, not including construction jobs. About 60 percent of those jobs will require two years of college or a training certificate.

 

JE Dunn Construction is the general contractor for the project. HKS is the lead architect.

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