In the early 1980s, the pediatric medical community recognized the critical need for a single hospital dedicated to the care of children throughout the Central Texas region. Only a children’s hospital distinguished by both medical expertise and a caring environment capable of meeting each child’s social, emotional, developmental and spiritual needs could well serve the community’s children. They endorsed a plan for the creation of a dedicated children’s hospital. The City responded and after much hard work and remarkable community support, Children’s Hospital of Austin was born on February 14, 1988.
In 1995, the City of Austin began looking to operate a partner for its public facilities. It made sense for the region’s two not-for-profit, mission-driven organizations to collaborate. In 2005, in collaboration with the pediatric medical community and the Seton Family of Hospitals, it was decided that a new, larger children’s hospital was crucial to meet the demand of one of the fastest growing regions in the country. Dell Children’s Medical Center opened on June 30, 2007.
In 2007 the combined population of Travis, Williamson, and Hays counties was about 1.5 million people. Today, the population of the same three counties is nearing 2.2 million, a 43-percent increase. This unprecedented growth demands a pediatric ecosystem that can ensure families have access to the world class health care they need for their children, right here at home. Providing access to compassionate, high quality pediatric care for all continues to be a primary focus for Dell Children’s Medical Center, part of Ascension Seton. Continued growth is part of a comprehensive, ongoing plan to continue expanding pediatric care with our partners at Dell Medical School at the University of Texas and UT Health Austin.
Since the hospital opened in 2007 a few major milestones include; the opening of the W.H. and Elain McCarthy South Bedtower in 2013, the opening of the Grace Grego Maxwell Mental Health Unit in 2018, the first pediatric heart transplant in Central Texas took place at Dell Children’s in 2020, and the opening of the Specialty Pavilion in 2021 housing Centers of Excellence in Cardiovascular and Heart Surgery, Neurosciences, Oncology & Hematology, and Maternal Fetal Medicine. Following the opening of Dell Children’s Specialty Pavilion, baby Paisley was the very first baby born in Dell Children’s new Special Delivery Unit in 2021.
The growth does not stop there. Marching ahead towards a bold vision, Dell Children’s and Ascension Seton leadership in collaboration with Dell Medical School at the University of Texas and UT Health Austin have more major milestones planned in the not so distant future.
Dell Children’s growth in specialty care has created the urgent need for additional care rooms to serve children requiring the most complex care. The 4th, and final, patient tower, planned to open in the fall of 2022, will provide an additional 72 rooms for acute care and allow for the expansion of Dell Children’s NICU and Cardiac Care Unit.
In line with the overall vision and goal for children and families to remain close to home for care, no matter the diagnosis, Dell Children’s Medical Center has begun construction on a new pediatric hospital in North Austin. To meet the needs of the rapidly increasing number of families in Austin’s northern suburbs, Dell Children’s North will total more than 135,000 square feet on 34 acres at Avery Ranch Boulevard and US-183A in Williamson County and is set to open in spring of 2023.
As we reach the milestone of Dell Children’s 15th birthday on June 30, 2022, and Central Texas continues to grow, we will be prepared for the future standing ready to meet the needs of our community’s children…with a special focus on the most vulnerable among us. With our partner, Dell Medical School at the University of Texas, we continue to recruit amazing physicians and clinical staff. Because of you, we are dramatically growing and enhancing the depth of complex care for children with a laser focus on providing the brightest talent and most innovative technology all within the extraordinary environment that is Dell Children’s. As we invest in our community, we invite you to invest in your hometown too. On behalf of the leadership and amazing caregivers at Dell Children’s, we share our sincere gratitude.