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A woman and a child in a kitchen standing over a stove and stainless steel pan stirring sauteed vegetables with a silicon spatula.

That’s Austin Health: Our Vision for a Healthy Austin

Excellence in health care is being built in and for Austin by organizations connected to this community, using the creative thinking and innovative spirit for which Austin is renowned. That’s Austin health.

No one wants to be sick, but when we need care, it’s reassuring to know it’s available. A strong medical community has the capacity to provide quality care, foster an environment of research and innovation, and create a strong pipeline of health care providers and medical staff through training and education.

We are working to ensure that best-in-class care is always available in Central Texas.  We are also focused on improving the health —not just the health care — of our communities, by bringing resources to the table that go toward prevention. While treatment will always be a major part of the services hospitals and medical facilities provide, our goal is to ensure families right here in Central Texas have more opportunities to prevent illness as much as possible.

This is our vision for a healthy Austin.

First-year medical students collaborate on coursework at Dell Medical School’s Health Learning Building.

Building a Healthy Community Takes Time and Commitment

Change cannot happen overnight. It takes day-in and day-out engagement and understanding, with the community leading the way on what is most important to them. It takes listening and then doing, based on what we hear from the people we are serving.

Together with local partners and leaders, we are creating an innovative, patient-centered medical community. Our priorities include advancing a team-based approach and investigating how communities can support health outside of traditional clinical settings. From research to practice to evaluation, we are focused on providing measurable outcomes that help real people live healthier lives.

Here’s a look at our work to date as we have worked to make Austin a model healthy city:


The foundation begins contributing to the capital campaign for the establishment of a new children’s hospital to serve Central Texas. That hospital is now Dell Children’s Medical Center.

Dell Children's Medical Center logo.


In partnership with the University of Texas School of Public Health, Austin Regional Campus, the Michael & Susan Dell Center for Healthy Living is created to increase collaboration on childhood obesity research and improve wellness for children.

Through the Dell Health Scholars Program, they focus on developing the next generation of public health professionals, evaluators, and educators. These scholars are pre- and post-doctoral fellows who train at the Center on their journey to becoming researchers in children’s health.


Dell Children’s Medical Center opens as one of only five Level 1 pediatric trauma centers in the state of Texas.


To meet the needs of a growing population, Austin residents vote to invest funds in the creation of a medical school in Austin. Joining in this massive community effort, Michael and Susan Dell announce a $60 million, 10-year commitment to fund the Dell Medical School and related community-based efforts.


The Dell Children’s Medical Center undergoes expansion, and now provides care to families and children living in 46 Texas counties. It is the only dedicated freestanding pediatric facility in the region.


In May 2017, the Dell Seton Medical Center opens to serve its first patients. This Level 1 adult trauma center is a teaching hospital that complements the Dell Medical School’s mission to make Austin a hub of excellence and innovation for health, clinical care, and research. The 517,000 square-foot teaching hospital is co-located with the medical school on the University of Texas at Austin’s campus.


Dell Children’s Medical Center announces plans to build a new hospital and breaks ground on the Dell Children’s Specialty Pavilion, all while beginning its heart transplant program through The Texas Center for Pediatric and Congenital Heart Disease – a partnership between Dell Children’s and UT Health Austin, the clinical practice of Dell Medical School. The foundation commits to a $30 million matching grant to help ensure all children can be treated right here in Central Texas. The inaugural class of 50 Dell Medical School students graduates in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.


Dell Children’s Medical Center and UT Health Austin surgeons complete their first twin to twin transfusion syndrome laser surgery at the Comprehensive Fetal Care Center, while surgeons at the Texas Center for Pediatric and Congenital Heart Disease perform their milestone 1000th heart surgery. Dell Children’s opens its new specialty pavilion and welcomes the first patients to its specialized Labor and Delivery Unit. Austin Community College launches an accelerated nursing program, which allows students to receive their associate degree in nursing in just 18 months.

UT Health Austin Logo


The Institute for Cardiovascular Health – a collaboration among Ascension Texas, The University of Texas at Austin, and Dell Medical School – launches its fully-integrated heart care model. Dell Children’s Medical Center celebrates its 15th anniversary and opens its fourth bed tower – including intensive care, cancer, hematology, and acute care units – in a time of record volume at the hospital.


On Match Day, a record of 171 incoming physicians announce they’ll continue training in programs hosted by Dell Medical School and Ascension Seton. Dell Children’s Medical Center North opens – bringing access to care to Austin and its growing suburbs. In a historic first for Texas, The Texas Center for Pediatric and Congenital Heart Disease at Dell Children’s performs a partial heart transplant on an 11-month old child – the seventh known pediatric partial heart transplant in the world. Dell Seton announces a $280 million expansion including four new floors, and specialty treatment and transplant facilities.

Dive Deeper

When Healthcare Goes High Tech

Michael Dell sat down with Dr. Clay Johnston, the inaugural dean of Dell Medical School, about the medical community that is reshaping health care in Austin.

Progress: A New Health Care System for All of Central Texas

With best-in-class clinicians, the academic power of The University of Texas at Austin and the Dell Medical School, and strong community partnerships, the vision of Austin as a model city for health care is coming to fruition.  

The addition of the Dell Seton Medical Center and Dell Medical School poises Austin to provide an integrated approach to inpatient and outpatient care that puts patients and families at the center of the work. An increasingly open system means that families do not have to leave Austin when complex health issues affect their loved ones.

Dell Seton Medical Center is designed to facilitate education and collaboration among doctors, nurses, researchers, staff, students, patients, and families — creating a team-based approach that is central to a multi-disciplinary model of care. As a top-tier medical training anchor in Austin, the Center provides a pipeline of doctors and other allied health professionals in a region where demand for health services is outstripping supply. Projections see the evolving medical community bolstering economic growth throughout the Central Texas region.

At the time of its opening, Dell Medical School and Dell Seton Medical Center were expected to create 15,000 new jobs locally, not including construction jobs. About 60 percent of those jobs would require two years of college or a training certificate. In addition, the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation matched funding for J.P. Morgan Chase’s initiative to create a health care workforce program. Its aim? Increasing retention of health care talent in Central Texas, while also building the skills of current medical staff.

How We Keep Building a Healthy Austin

We have a strong commitment to Austin, to innovation, and to ensuring the people we serve inform our plans to build a strong and healthy community. Here’s how we keep up the momentum.

Look outside traditional “health care” partnerships: We explore how social drivers of health — like housing, food access, transportation, and income — impact overall patient health.

Look to residents in the community: We seek out their recommendations for improvements and their ideas about how to scale change in their neighborhoods.

Look to other innovators: We collaborate with other organizations to strengthen the collective expertise in our community. Those partners include:

Portrait of Gabby in her Science Summer Camp tshirt smiling direct to camera.

Meet Gabriela

Each year, Dell Medical School offers summer day camps for middle and high school students in Central Texas. Students enjoy hands-on science experiments, interact with health professionals across various fields, and spend time with outstanding camp counselors. The camps are just one of the many ways Dell Med works to provide opportunities for students to explore careers in health care. Meet camp alum Gabby, whose dream is to become a doctor and serve her community.

See more of Gabby’s story.