Forbes’ Blogger: Forget SXSW – Austin’s Most Radical New Idea May Be In Medical Education


AUSTIN, Texas – (April 21, 2015) – The following blog was written by Greg Hartman, President, External Affairs, Ascension Seton:

Living and working here in Central Texas, we’ve grown accustomed to seeing news reports, commentary, blogs, tweets and other communications about how Ascension Seton, the University of Texas at Austin, Central Health and our other partners are working together, pursuing better ways to provide healthcare that could be a model for other communities.

We should all be very proud that Ascension Seton is right in the middle of all this.

Our early work has already led great minds from across the country to come here and work with Ascension Seton to help determine what changes should be made to the healthcare system – and how to make those changes a reality.

From Dr. Clay Johnston, the new dean of the medical school, to Stacey Chang and Beto Lopez, pioneers with the internationally-recognized design firm IDEO who are moving to Austin to create the Design Institute for Health, to more recently Dr. Lynda Chin, who is coming to Austin from M.D. Anderson, Ascension Seton, UT Austin and the UT System are bringing in thought leaders on this subject. At Ascension Seton, we successfully lured Christann Vasquez from San Antonio to head our new Dell Ascension Seton Medical Center at The University of Texas as well as helm University Medical Center Brackenridge, which will close after the new hospital opens.

Now, all of this is starting to get national media exposure.


A popular blogger with Forbes, the nationally respected business magazine, is David Shaywitz, chief medical officer for Silicon Valley-based DNAnexus. He focuses on “entrepreneurial innovation” and is co-author of “Tech Tonics: Can Passionate Entrepreneurs Heal Health Care with Technology?”

In his April 10 blog, Shaywitz wrote:

“Austin, the birthplace of Whole Foods, Dell Computer, Heritage Boot (just bought my first pair) and SXSW (never been) is in the process of launching something even more radical: a fundamentally new way to think about medical education and the role of an academic medical center.

“In essence, the Dell Medical leaders unambiguously articulate a population health/health policy sort of vision – though they emphasize they understand and value “traditional” research as well.

“In the minds of the Dell Medical leaders, the most important goal of a medical school – and certainly of theirs – should be measurably enhancing the health of a community, an especially relevant issue in Austin where the medical school was explicitly paid for by local residents who clearly wanted it there.”

Click here to read the entire blog.