Dell School of Medicine

UT officials are considering a location near University Medical Center Brackenridge for the Dell School of Medicine. The medical school steering committee will continue to meet to make a more definite decision on the location.

Photo Credit: Chelsea Purgahn | Daily Texan Staff

UT officials are looking for possible locations for the new medical school facilities in the general Brackenridge area south of Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard.

UT spokesman Robert Cullick said the area that includes University Medical Center Brackenridge, which is owned by Central Health and leased to the Seton Healthcare Family, is under consideration because of the close proximity to the current medical center and the main campus.

“The University is intently looking at that area — looking at facilities that need to be constructed including education, administration and research facilities.” Cullick said. “They’re trying to decide where these things can go.”

Cullick said although the University has selected the prospective location, no decisions have been made for the school, which will be called the Dell School of Medicine.

“Something might go here and some years down the path another building could be built. It all will be part of the master plan that is being developed,” Cullick said.

Cullick said the master plan for the design and construction has not been fully developed by the University.

The UT System Board of Regents approved the medical school in May 2012. In November, Travis County voters approved a tax increase to help fund the school.

The school was named in honor of the Michael and Susan Dell Foundation following a $50 million donation announced Jan. 30.

Lisa Meyer, administrative associate to Robert Messing, the medical school steering committee chairman and recently hired vice provost for biomedical sciences, said although the location has not been specifically determined, the steering committee will meet several times in the coming week to make a more definite decision.

Cullick said the medical school and teaching hospital will work closely with Seton Healthcare Family, which is committing $250 million dollars to replace the University Medical Center Brackenridge, to have an equally up-to-date facility. UT’s medical school and teaching hospital will be funded by the UT System, although there is not yet an estimated cost.

“They will add more residency slots to provide more opportunities for students in the area to continue their education here,” Cullick said. “They currently have 200 students in residency and they would open it up a little more, and hopefully let in more UT students.”

Rosie Mendoza, chairwoman of the Central Health Board of Managers, said UT, Seton and Central Health are working to find an agreeable location through a memorandum of understanding between the entities. The Central Health board will meet with UT officials when the master plan has been developed.

“Our executive staff at Central Health has met with UT for the initial planning,” Mendoza said. “I think what they’re hoping for is to build a huge medical school campus, in one whole area. The specifics we do not know yet.”

Published on February 8, 2013 as "Med school site search narrows". 

This article was corrected after its original posting to clarify University Medical Center - Brackenridge is owned by Central Health and leased to Seton Healthcare Family.

Susan Dell announces that the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation will be donating $50 million to The Dell School of Medicine at the foundation’s headquarters in January.

Photo Credit: Chelsea Purgahn | Daily Texan Staff

UT will name its new medical school in honor of the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation after a $50 million donation that was announced Wednesday. 

The donation will be distributed over 10 years to the new Dell School of Medicine, which is scheduled to begin enrolling student by the fall of 2016.

The Dell family foundation will also commit $10 million toward community grants to improve the quality and access of health clinics in Austin.

“The effects of a medical school will be felt well beyond the UT campus,” Michael Dell said. “It will bring more medical expertise, specialists and researchers to the area. It will benefit for synergies between nursing, mental health, pharmacy and applied health education, and attract both private and public research funding. Ultimately, it will elevate the level of health care for the entire community.”

In November, Travis County voters approved to increase property taxes, from 7.89 cents to 12.9 cents per $100 of property value, collected by Central Health Travis County’s hospital district to help fund the medical school. 

The Dell family foundation, founded in 1999, has contributed more than $90 million to the University in funding and various health care initiatives, including the Dell Children’s Medical Center, the Dell Pediatric Research Institute, the Michael & Susan Dell Center for Healthy Living and the Texas Center for the Prevention and Treatment of Childhood Obesity.

Dr. Aliya Hussaini, the foundation’s health team leader, said the donation will be used for education, through recruiting faculty and investing in technology and equipment.

“We’ve had some really great opportunities to partner with UT because they do some much for the community,” Hussaini said. “We know medical students tend to stay were they go to school and even more where they train. It would be great if the best and brightest medical students were here in Austin taking care of our families and our community.”

President William Powers Jr. said the previous donations from the Dell family foundation helped make the medical school possible, building the University’s health care credibility.

“It will be better for health care in Texas, it will allow people to have more specialties,” Powers said. “It will help attract faculty and students who might want to work in a health sciences area that might go somewhere else, if there wasn’t a medical school.”

Steven Leslie, executive vice president and provost, said the medical school’s steering committee is structuring the school, including its curriculum and training programs, and plans to have its inaugural dean by the fall. The steering committee is co-chaired by Dr. Robert Messing, the University’s newly appointed vice provost for biomedical sciences, and Dr. Susan Cox, regional dean for Austin programs
at UT-Southwestern.

Printed on Thursday, January 31, 2013 as: Dell family donates $50 million to medical school