Healthy ATX: First Step Toward an Austin Med School

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Austin’s got it all—the Capitol, a top-tier university, major tech companies, and much more. What it doesn’t have is a medical school, and Sen. Kirk Watson, D-Austin, and his “10 in 10” organizing committee are ready to make it happen.

In February, Watson announced a plan to achieve 10 goals in 10 years in order to better health care in Travis County. A top priority: building a medical school right here in Austin that offers a four-year medical degree, post-graduate programs, and professors and specialty doctors who teach and treat patients from the local community.

Today, the Lance Armstrong Foundation played host to a press conference in which Watson announced Healthy ATX, a new education initiative and the first step toward achieving those goals.Using HealthyATX.org, the organizing committee—which includes UT president Bill Powers and UT System chancellor Francisco Cigarroa—aims to create a dialogue with the people of Central Texas about area health care as it is now and could be later.

“We’re all in this together,” Watson said. “In order to make Austin a center for medical excellence, it’s going to require a full community effort.”

Judging by the recent actions of the Seton Healthcare Family, Watson may be well on his way to fulfilling the dream of having a UT medical school right here in the capital city. Over the weekend, the family of hospitals pledged $250 million to help build and equip a new teaching hospital that would be capable of supporting a medical school.

“I am more excited today—more enthusiastic than ever before about accomplishing these 10 goals in the next 10 years,” Watson said.

Learn more about Healthy ATX here.

Photo courtesy Flickr user Alex E. Proimos.

 

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