Aug 14, 2023 - News

UT, MD Anderson hospitals to replace Erwin Center

Photo: John Rivera/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The University of Texas at Austin will partner with MD Anderson Cancer Center to build two hospital towers at the site of the soon-to-be-demolished Frank Erwin Center, officials announced in a news conference Monday.

Driving the news: The $2.5 billion investment will create the University of Texas at Austin Medical Center, with a new hospital operated by MD Anderson and a second tower to hold a specialty university hospital, according to the UT System Board of Regents chairman Kevin Eltife.

Details: The hospital towers will be blocks away from Dell Seton Medical Center, the 6-year-old teaching hospital for UT's medical school and the area's Level I trauma center.

  • The new MD Anderson hospital will be fully staffed by MD Anderson physicians, and both hospitals will provide a space for Dell Medical School to collaborate, research and treat patients.

Why it matters: The move is sure to boost the profile of the Dell Medical School and dramatically improve the city's health care.

What they're saying: "Today also expands our mission to make health care more accessible," Gov. Greg Abbott said Monday. "Rather than Texans traveling to Houston, we will now be bringing the world's best cancer care right to them right here in Central Texas."

Between the lines: The site of the Erwin Center is already near Austin's proposed "Innovation District," where city and university officials hope to bridge health care and technology in the area anchored by the Dell Medical School, Dell Seton Medical Center and the Central Health Downtown campus.

  • "We have an opportunity that is unique in Texas and only possible at a few places in the world — to build an academic medical center that is linked to a top research university and that is driven by innovations in technology, digital health, data science, artificial intelligence, robotics, material science and more," UT president Jay Hartzell said Monday.

Of note: Houston-based MD Anderson, one of the nation's leading cancer centers, was created by the University of Texas System in 1941.

What's next: UT officials anticipate that groundbreaking for the hospitals should begin in 2026.

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