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A young girl eats a peach purchased from a farmer's market in Austin, Texas

Our Vision for a Healthy Austin

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 healthcare providers and medical staff through training and education.

We are working to ensure best in class care is always available in Central Texas.  We are also focused on improving the health —not just the healthcare — 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.

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:

2004

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.

2006

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.

2007

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

2012

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.

2013

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 free-standing pediatric facility in the region.

2017                       

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.

2020

Dell Children’s Medical Center begins work to develop a pediatric outpatient facility for world-class complex care. The foundation commits to a $30 million matching grant to help ensure all children can be treated right here in Central Texas.

Michael Dell and Clay Johnston at SXSW: When Healthcare Goes High Tech


Progress: A New Healthcare 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 healthcare 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 healthcare workforce program. Its aim? Increasing retention of healthcare 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 “Healthcare” 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:

Dell Med’s Health Science Summer Camps Inspire Future Physicians