Walking the walk … to Austin

May 31, 2017

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.

50 Responses to “Walking the walk … to Austin”

  1. frances

    Roughly eight months ago I was thinking to myself how awesome it would be if TCH would build a hospital in San Antonio and Austin. I could possibly move back home and still work for this wonderful facility. TCH would do great in Central Texas. With such a growing population for both metro areas and not to mention Ft. Hood and Lackland Airforce Base, TCH could provide services to a broader patient population (i.e., Tricare Insured). This is a smart business plan.

  2. Christy Brunton

    What an exciting time for Texas Children’s! I am so happy to be part of this great mission! We will do great things for the women and children of Austin.

  3. Matt Timmons

    What a fantastic time to be a part of this amazing team! I look forward to the positive impact Texas Children’s will have on the children and women in the Austin/Central Texas market!

  4. Michelle Lawson

    A great opportunity to provide care to patients and families from the Central Texas area closer to their home. It’s a great time to be a part of the Texas Children’s team!

  5. Sandeep Dilwali

    The Green City initiative is a partnership between the City of Austin and the community, with the goal of preserving and protecting Austin’s environment. It will be great if we could design our infrastructure and buildings in Austin to be energy efficient and sustainable including solar roofs. I am hopeful the City of Austin will help with subsidies and incentives to take care of some part of the costs of our green initiatives !

  6. Alethea Haynes

    THIS IS AWESOME! The expansion would be a great opportunity to maintain working for this awesome organization and possibly relocate closer to my family in San Antonio!! GO TCH!!!

  7. ANASIS FAIR (ANNA)

    I’M SO EXCITED!! This is such an amazing opportunity to reach and service families in Central Texas and the capital of our lovely state of Texas.WAY TO GO TCH!!!!

  8. Stephanie V. Smith

    (I love Austin.) I lived there for 4 years a while back and loved it. It is awesome that Austin will get to experience the love of Texas Children’s and to know that there is at least 1 amazing CEO left in the world. I am looking forward to seeing what amazing opportunities are on the way as we expand and enlarge our territory.

  9. BIRDIE WILSON

    This is a wonderful idea. Looking forward to the expansion. Austin is a city I would relocate to , to stay working for this wonderful company. Great idea !!!!!! Go TCH !!!!!!!!

  10. Mary Rodriguez

    I am overwhelmed with pride!! From the front line, we always get asked if there are any of our clinics in other areas. The quality of care and service are hard to beat. Just today, we were asked if there are any in Dallas. I look forward to seeing the growth. Staying tuned in.
    Austin here we come!!

    • Mark Wallace

      Darrell,

      Thanks for your question. Right now we are continuing our exploration of the Austin market. We want to get to know this community well and understand the needs of the children and women who live there. We are entering with our outpatient services, and we will continue to seek ways to best support the health care needs of this new community.

  11. Melissa Falcon

    This is FANTASTIC!! Undoubtedly Austin families will feel so blessed to have Texas Children’s Hospital quality of care conveniently available!

  12. Andres Garcia

    Love to hear that Texas Children’s is expanding outside of Houston! It seems rightly so as we are TEXAS Children’s, that this GRAND state should experience health care at the TCH level! Would love to see TCH in all the major cities of Texas!

  13. Tanjanike Sparks

    I am so excited. This is a great move for Texas Children’s Hospital to my beloved Austin, Tx. I have already shared this good news to the wonderful, caring, warm, team playing and collaborative medical professionals I know there.

  14. Adrian

    This is exciting news! I have often thought how amazing that would be to further our practice into other territories in Texas. I would personally love the opportunity to move yet stay with an organization that has become my life’s work over the past 27 years. Count me in!

  15. Gail Bean

    Expansion of primary care, urgent care and needed pediatric specialty care services to Texas families is much needed around the State and appreciate the leadership decisions to invest in Central Texas.

  16. Opera Wagner-Ross

    I think this is a fantastic idea. Austin is a great city and TCH would be a great addition to the community there. I’d totally consider transitioning there to be a part of this expansion. One opening down (Pavilion) one more on the radar (Austin) Woohoo!!!

    Truly exciting

  17. Brenda

    Awesome! I’m glad to be a part of this growing organization. I’m excited that Texas Children’s has decided to expand to other parts of Texas especially Austin. Great opportunities in the near future. I’ve been here for a year and I couldn’t have picked a better time to join this wonderful organization.

  18. Tangula

    What an exciting time for Texas Children’s and Austin! Our entry into this market will definitely make a positive difference for the children and women in this community.

  19. Jessica

    This is great news. The name of the hospital is Texas Children’s..its only fair to provide care to just more than Houston…This is a great initiative…I look forward to more care centers in all Texas…only then will Texas Childrens justify its full name..Again…this is great news.

  20. Lance Lightfoot

    Texas Children’s is always looking for ways to fulfill its mission of creating a healthier future for the children and women of Texas (and beyond!). It’s what makes working for Texas Children’s so rewarding and unique.

  21. Ari Brown MD

    Hi Mark,
    As a community pediatrician in Austin, I have heard mutterings for some time that TCH might be heading our way. We are a rapidly growing city of young families and while we have services at our current children’s hospital, there are certainly some growing pains. It would be nice if you would engage our robust group of primary care pediatricians to see how what you will be offering will suit the needs and gaps we have with specialty care and inpatient services. I am surprised you decided to start with urgent care and primary care (*as we have an excellent number of primary care pediatric practices here already) but I guess that is low hanging fruit. I hope to hear from you in the future, and not just in a press release.

    • Mark Wallace

      Dr. Brown,

      I appreciate hearing from you. Our leadership team and I are continuing to have many conversations with Austin’s health care leaders and professionals as we get to know and understand the community. Researching and assessing the actual needs and health care gaps in the community is exactly what we are doing right now, and our initial findings are key drivers in the outpatient strategy we recently announced. We are committed to getting to know Austin’s community leaders, providers and families even better and allowing that to guide our strategy – and subsequent offerings – in the area.

      As such, we would like to hear more from you about the challenges and needs you see in the area and to share more information with you about our interests and plans in the Austin community. Texas Children’s Physician-in-Chief Dr. Mark Kline is hosting a dinner for Baylor alumni in Austin later this month, and we would be pleased to have you join us. Please expect an invitation soon.

      In the meantime, you are welcome to contact Executive Vice President Michelle Riley-Brown regarding Texas Children’s presence in Austin. Michelle is leading our efforts in Austin, and she is a dynamic leader with deep experience in community strategy.

      Again, thank you for reaching out. We look forward to working with you and your colleagues to ensure the best possible pediatric and OB/GYN care for Austin’s families.

  22. Trent Johnson

    What an exciting time to be a part of Texas Children’s Hospital. Austin / Central Texas families certainly deserve to have adequate & convenient access to the highest quality of pediatric care in their community. This strategic expansion of services makes perfect sense as continue to “skate to where the puck is going to be”. I look forward to witnessing the Austin-area embrace all of the amazing services that our Team has to offer.

  23. Alma Gutierrez

    As I was reading this morning that TCH is expanding to Austin, Texas, I thought why not the Rio Grande Valley like the city of McAllen Texas. That would be a dream come true for me, I have worked at TCH as a Neonatal Nurse Practitioner for almost 25 years and have enjoyed every minute of it, and throughout all those years I have seen and managed so many patients in the NICU that have to be brought here for higher level of care services with infants that have complex medical issues. I have also seen how families get displaced from their homes and separated from their families at the same time, all those miles away that requires them to be here for long periods of time.. I have been commuting from the Rio Grande Valley week after week for the past 12 years traveling thousands of miles thru the years to come and work here, I just can’t seem to cut the umbilical cord from this wonderful organization and group of people that I so enjoy working with.
    I would love for TCH to consider expanding over there with a full service hospital with all the sub-specialties to help the children and their families stay where their home is at and at the same time receive top-notch services.

  24. Joanna Graf

    I am so proud to work for Texas Children’s Hospital. We have expert Doctors, Advanced Practice Practitioner, nurses, and staff. Everyone strives to give the best care and does so successfully,
    Austin is a natural move. So many come to us from so far away. This is just one more chance for us to aide and save children and babies and will be so convenient to those that live in the hills.
    We are America’s hospital!

  25. Sara Dean

    The expansion of TCH to the Austin area is an exciting endeavor for the organization, staff, Austin community and most importantly, the patients! Having facilities in the Austin area will also provide a closer access point of care for patients in the central, west, northwest and southwest areas of Texas. The patients who travel from those areas to see our specialists in Maternal Fetal Medicine will be able to decrease time and travel expenses. I look forward to this transition and the expansion of exceptional TCH care.

  26. Sarah Maytum

    It is exciting to consider the impact Texas Children’s will have on the Austin community. I have met many Austin families who travel to Houston for care today, and I am thrilled that they will now be able to receive our care closer to home. As a mom of three active sons, I have been a frequent visitor to our Urgent Care clinics, and can attest to the high quality care, convenient hours and exceptional service. It is also wonderful to see how excited all of my co-workers are in the comments above- another great chapter in Texas Children’s story.

  27. Wanda Leavatts

    How exciting for our patients and their families that travel from the Austin area and surrounding areas to receive care here in Houston at TCH will soon receive excellent medical care near their homes I hear that the barbecue is really good there

  28. Monica Simmons

    This is wonderful news! Having recently relocated to the Austin area I am very excited to know that there is now an opportunity to rejoin the Texas Children’s team and continue my career for providing quality care to the children in our great state!

  29. Margaret Kinalska

    Great, so very ill patients would not have to worry catching a jet to fly to Houston or Boston!!
    Question:
    The practices you are talking about getting to join us, will they be a part of our outpatient Texas Children’s Pediatrics.? Or would this be a separate entity?

  30. Amanda Gonzalez

    I have to say that I am beyond excited for this expansion that TCH is diving into. I moved to San Antonio two years ago but could not bring myself to leave my TCH family at West Campus therefore I went to part time and have been commuting since! I had heard talk about possibly expanding out West toward Austin/San Antonio area and I am so happy that day has arrived. We have such a great team here at TCH from Administration, providers, nurses, ancillary staff, and many more. I think it is wonderful we are going to spread out of the Houston area share the experience of TCH with others in Texas starting with Austin! I am so proud to work for such a great organization and proud that we as a whole are growing and providing quality care for those in need. Please keep us updated on the progress I know a lot of employees (myself included) are in full support of this next endeavor.

  31. Jeanette McMullen

    I cannot wait for this to come to fruition. As a graduate of UT Austin (Hook ’em!) and a former Austinite, we tried to move back to North Austin a few years ago, but it wasn’t in the cards. Fast forward to now, where both my husband and I both work for TCH and plan to continue our careers with TCH. Being able to move to Austin AND to continue to work for TCH would be a dream come true!! We are so thankful and blessed to work for such a wonderful organization.

  32. I am thrilled and excited for Texas Children’s in expanding to the Austin City Limits because as a returning employee, I am grateful for the opportunity to be able to share my story and introduce who Texas Children’s is to the Austin community. We are founded on four simple truth. Amplify unity, Lead tirelessly, Live compassionately, and Embracing freedom. Those core values are what drives me to wake up everyday to do what I do in caring of our patients and their families. WE are Texas Children’s.

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