Dell Med helps attract over 400 new physicians to Austin

Macones is one of those doctors who moved to Austin — in his case from Washington University in St. Louis. In addition to his role as Acting Dean, he is also a professor and chair of the Department of Women’s Health and provides care one day a week to patients at the South East Health and Wellness Center, part of CommUnityCare Health Centers serving uninsured and underinsured Travis County residents. .

Macones has been instrumental in launching programs such as the Comprehensive Fetal Care Center, a collaboration between Dell Children’s Medical Center and UT Health Austin, the clinical practice of Dell Med. In turn, the establishment of centers of excellence such as the Center for Comprehensive Fetal Care attracts even more top doctors, he said.

“What we’re seeing play out is the multiplier effect of community investment in Dell Med,” Macones said. “It all started in 2012 with voters choosing to create and support the medical school with $35 million each year. Less than a decade later, that investment is paying off, with all kinds of examples of successful disease prevention programs, new and innovative models of care, improved health outcomes for patients, and better access to specialist care for local patients and their families.

Improving health on multiple fronts

The TDSHS report also finds that physician shortages across the state vary by region, with central Texas expected to experience critical shortages in specialties such as cardiology and nephrology.

Dell Med and its clinical partner, Ascension Seton, are making progress in expanding care in both areas. Several recent successes – from developing a fully integrated model of care to Heart Health Institute to the establishment of a new kidney transplant program – also allow patients and their families to stay in Austin to get the care they need.

In 2018, one of the top pediatric cardiac surgeons in the world, Charles D. Fraser, Jr., MD, moved from Houston to join the Dell Med faculty and serve as Chief of Pediatric and Congenital Cardiothoracic Surgery at Dell Children’s. He led the nation’s top-ranked congenital heart surgery program and arrived aiming to repeat that success in central Texas.

In just four years, Fraser has spearheaded several milestones and firsts, including the launch of the Texas Center for Pediatric and Congenital Heart Disease and build the team responsible for first pediatric heart transplant in central Texas, performed at Dell Children’s.

“I chose to be part of Dell Med, Dell Children’s and the Austin physician community because of the strengths each brings to the challenges of improving healthcare,” said Fraser. “Together, we are advancing pediatric cardiac care not just here in Central Texas, but around the world.”

Fraser’s innovative work spans clinical care, medical education and research. Other Dell Med faculty focus on one or all of these areas, including improving health outside of clinics and hospitals.

Mullen Jewel, MD, moved to Austin to assume the role of Associate Dean for Health Equity. She is an internist and epidemiologist, as well as the former Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of Health for the US Department of Health and Human Services. Her focus on advancing health equity is evident at Dell Med and through similar roles at Ascension Seton, where she is Director of Health Equity; and with Central Health, where she was recently named Director of Health Equity and Quality.

Mullen is involved in a wide range of collaborative initiatives, including a patient data collection initiative focused on race, ethnicity and language. She also worked with Austin Public Health to help ensure an equitable response to the COVID-19 pandemic, and she shared her expertise as part of a committee of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. who produced a consensus study on the fair allocation of COVID-19 vaccines.

In the field of innovative research, professors like Elizabeth MatsuiMD, strive to highlight environmental health, including linking environmental inequalities to racial and ethnic disparities in health conditions such as asthma.

Matsui, who moved from Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, is a practicing pediatric allergist-immunologist and professor in the departments of population health and pediatrics. She is also a director of Dell Med’s Center for Health and Environment: Education and Research (CHEER)which serves as a hub for multidisciplinary research and learning in environmental health sciences and draws on expertise from across the UT Austin campus.

His team’s research revealed that children living in Travis County are hospitalized for asthma at a significantly higher rate than American children overall, with the highest rates of ER visits and hospitalizations occurring in eastern Travis County. This leads to further study of the root causes of these types of environmental health issues.


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