Texas Children’s Hospital made a surprise announcement this morning, making news that it will expand its network to Austin.
The elite pediatric institution, founded 63 years ago in Houston, is aiming to capitalize on an under-served Central Texas market, which currently claims Dell Children’s Medical Center as its only Level I pediatric trauma facility.
“This expansion reflects both an opportunity and a need,” said Dr. Mark Kline, Texas Children’s physician-in-chief, to the Houston Chronicle. “It’ll be an entrance into a market where we haven’t had a presence and a benefit to Austin of our integrated and holistic pediatric-care model that we think is second to none.”
The first project in The Capitol City will be an urgent-care clinic in South Austin set for next spring, with plans over the next five years to open more urgent-care locations, as well as specialty clinics, 18 primary-care practices and two maternal-fetal medicine practices.
Interestingly, Dell’s management was caught unaware about the development.
“Having just been notified about the plans, we look forward to gaining a better understanding of them,” chief of external and academic affairs Greg Hartman said in a statement. “Seton and Dell continually seek to improve health care in our community, and we hope Texas Children’s will also commit to better care for our youngest patients and their families — care that’s based here in Austin, and stays here in Austin.”