UT Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas, Seton Family of Hospitals, UT System approve affiliation agreement

Contact: Tim Doke, UT Southwestern, (214) 648-3404; Greg Hartman, Seton Family
of Hospitals, (512) 324-5833; Anthony P. de Bruyn, UT System, (512) 499-4363

October 12, 2009

AUSTIN — The University of Texas System Board of Regents and the Board of Trustees of the Seton Family of Hospitals have approved the creation of a new partnership with The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas, one of the nation’s premier medical schools.

The new partnership will significantly increase the number of residents (doctors in training) who will practice at Seton facilities. In addition, the agreement will bolster current medical research projects being conducted by the Seton Family of Hospitals, and allows for the expansion of collaborative research efforts with UT Southwestern and The University of Texas at Austin. 

“This new partnership is a wonderful development for the people of Central Texas and the University of Texas System,”
UT System Chancellor Francisco G. Cigarroa, M.D., said.  “For UT Southwestern it offers an ideal way to expand its graduate medical education and clinical research programs.  For the UT institutions – particularly The University of Texas at Austin — it provides new opportunities for translational research and collaborations throughout Texas that will allow discoveries to transition more quickly from the laboratory bench to the patient bedside.”

A key element of the affiliation agreement is the development of the Seton Family of Hospitals/UT Southwestern Clinical Research Institute.  UT Southwestern is one of the largest medical schools in the nation and has been ranked by U.S. News & World Report as one of the top ten medical schools for research among public universities. It is home to four Nobel Laureates, three of whom remain active members of the faculty. The Seton Family of Hospitals is already conducting innovative research programs in neuroscience, pediatrics and trauma.

All academic, clinical research and administrative activities included in the partnership will be funded by Seton.  Faculty involved in the current residency programs will continue their work, and additional faculty and other employees involved in the educational and research programs to be developed with Seton will be recruited to Austin specifically to support the graduate medical education programs. 

“This collaboration will enhance and augment the existing clinical investigation and teaching being done by our current faculty, adding further reach, depth, experience and prestige to our institution,” UT Southwestern President Daniel K. Podolsky, M.D., said.  “As we develop these programs, including additional residencies, with our medical colleagues at the Seton Family of Hospitals and train physicians to serve Central Texas, I anticipate we will see benefits in Dallas as well with new partnerships and increased collaboration among our medical communities.” 

The agreement provides for creation of a Joint Conference Council consisting of representatives from Seton, UT Southwestern and the UT System to oversee the development and practice of academic medicine and research programs in Central Texas.  A regional dean will be appointed and the affiliation agreement becomes effective Nov. 30.

“This is a threshold moment for Central Texas, both in terms of the expansion of medical research and the availability of healthcare for the region,” Charles Barnett, President/CEO of the Seton Family of Hospitals, said.  “We are facing a significant doctor shortage in Central Texas in the coming years. This partnership will increase the number of residents training at Seton facilities. Simply put, more residents mean more doctors seeing more patients.  And ultimately, it means a significant number of the doctors who train here will locate their practices here.”

“Medical research is a key component of improving access to quality healthcare. Research hospitals attract the best physicians nationally, and offer cutting-edge treatments that aren’t available in a non-research environment,” Barnett added.

“Collaborating with world-class health institutions such as UT Southwestern and Seton would enrich any research university, and UT Austin is in a position to draw on a wealth of expertise and resources that no doubt will produce outstanding research opportunities,” added Steven Leslie, UT Austin’s provost.

About UT Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas

UT Southwestern Medical Center, one of the premier medical centers in the nation, integrates pioneering biomedical research with exceptional clinical care and education.  Its faculty has many distinguished members, including four Nobel laureates, three of whom are active faculty members. Numbering more than 2,200, the faculty is responsible for groundbreaking medical advances and is committed to translating science-driven research quickly to new clinical treatments. UT Southwestern physicians provide medical care in 40 specialties to nearly 97,000 hospitalized patients and oversee 1.8 million outpatient visits a year.

Physicians care for patients in the Dallas-based UT Southwestern Medical Center; in Parkland Health & Hospital System, which is staffed primarily by UT Southwestern physicians; and in its affiliated hospitals, Children’s Medical Center Dallas and the VA North Texas Health Care System. UT Southwestern programs are offered in Waco, Wichita Falls, Richardson, Plano/Frisco and Fort Worth. Three degree-granting institutions — UT Southwestern Medical School, UT Southwestern Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences and UT Southwestern School of Health Professions — train nearly 4,400 students, residents and fellows each year. UT Southwestern researchers undertake more than 3,500 research projects annually, totaling more than $400 million in research expenditures each year.  

About the Seton Family of Hospitals

The Seton Family of Hospitals is the leading provider of healthcare services in Central Texas with 23 clinical locations throughout the region. The Seton Family of Hospitals includes the only Level I Trauma Centers for adult and pediatric in the Austin area; the only Heart Transplant Center in Central Texas; and the first two Designated Stroke Centers in Texas to receive a Gold Seal of Approval by The Joint Commission. The Seton Family of Hospitals has been awarded four Magnet designations, the highest award for nursing excellence given by the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC). The ANCC is an independent subsidiary of the American Nurses Association, the nation’s largest organization of nursing professionals.  In 2007, Seton was awarded the prestigious Codman Award by The Joint Commission for its nationally recognized efforts at Perinatal safety. In FY2008, Seton, a member of Ascension Health, the largest not-for-profit health network in the nation, provided more than $419 million in charity and community benefit to Central Texans.

About The University of Texas System

Serving the educational and health care needs of Texans for more than 125 years, The University of Texas System is one of the nation’s largest higher education systems, with nine academic campuses and six health institutions. The UT System has an annual operating budget of $11.9 billion (FY 2010) including $2.5 billion in sponsored programs funded by federal, state, local and private sources. Preliminary student enrollment exceeded 202,000 in the 2008 academic year. The UT System confers more than one-third of the state's undergraduate degrees and educates nearly three-fourths of the state's healthcare professionals annually. With more than 84,000 employees, the UT System is one of the largest employers in the state.

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