You have often heard me say that Texas Children’s charge is to provide “the right care, in the right place at the right time.” For the past two decades, that has been the driver behind our strategic growth beyond the Texas Medical Center and into the communities where our patients and their families live.
Making sure they have access to exceptional health care close to home is why we have hospitals in Katy and The Woodlands and nearly 80 Texas Children’s primary care and urgent care practices, specialty care centers, maternal-fetal medicine clinics and other health care locations throughout Greater Houston. And that is why we are bringing Texas Children’s to Austin, Texas.
Today, we are announcing our plans to expand our pediatric and OB/GYN services into Austin, beginning with the opening of a welcome center, followed quickly thereafter with a pediatric urgent care clinic by spring 2018. This will mark the first Texas Children’s location in the Austin area, and starting with a welcome center will allow us to learn more about the area and share our story and plans for growth with the Austin community. We will open three additional pediatric urgent care clinics, 18 primary care pediatric practices, three pediatric specialty care locations and two maternal-fetal medicine practices across the city over the next five years.
As some of you may know, Austin is the 11th largest city in the U.S. and is also the fastest-growing city in America, with a pediatric population of more than 480,000. In short, Austin’s growth is outpacing its pediatric and women’s health care infrastructure. We already take care of many children and women from the Austin and Central Texas area. Providing primary and secondary care there will simply create an opportunity for us to do an even better job of that, so Austin families can have the care they need close to home … just like our families in Greater Houston. Our presence in Austin will also facilitate referrals to Texas Children’s Hospital for high acuity patients in need of comprehensive tertiary care and procedures available only at hospitals with our depth and breadth of specialized services.
Executive Vice President Michelle Riley-Brown is leading the charge on our robust outpatient strategy in Austin. Her leadership and experience ensures that our strategy is well researched, thoughtful and cost effective. Taking our outpatient services to Austin means we will not have to build new facilities, and employing a five-year strategy requires minimal financial investment. We want to collaborate with the established pediatric and OB/GYN providers in the region to help support the growing Austin community.
Also, Texas Children’s Pediatrics will build on its 20-plus years of experience working with community pediatricians and will partner with existing pediatric primary care practices in the region. I’m confident in the proven leadership of Texas Children’s Pediatrics and Urgent Care President Kay Tittle and Chief Medical Officer Dr. Stanley Spinner to guide our assertive, incremental approach. As we expand the services offered, we will continue to evaluate and monitor the needs of Austin families, and those of others around the state, to tailor our offerings to best meet those needs.
Texas Children’s entry in the Austin community is a natural extension of our mission to expand care and access to more families in Texas. And this is precisely what providing the right care, in the right place at the right time actually looks like. It’s not a clever phrase or a lofty aspiration – it’s Texas Children’s commitment to serving our patients, wherever they are. And we’re backing up that commitment with a sound strategy and an investment in the Austin community. In Texas, that’s called walking the walk, and we’re excited that our path is Austin-bound.