Public gets first peek at Dell Seton Medical Center

After 18 months of construction, Dell Seton Medical Center is finally complete.

The new hospital will replace University Medical Center Brackenridge which is located directly across 15th Street.
The $310 million hospital includes upgrades in technology, comfort and care.

It has 211 patient beds and 13 operating rooms that can broadcast to medical professionals all over the world.

“I would say it's a really exciting day,” said Jesus Garza, President and CEO of Seton Healthcare Family. 

Austin's newest teaching hospital is almost ready to open its doors for business.

“We've been working on this for a long time,” Garza said. 

Saturday, hundreds of people got the chance to tour Dell Seton to see all the hospital has to offer.

“We've been able to put in technology that is not replicated anywhere else in Central Texas,” said Garza.   

Seton Healthcare Family leaders said having a teaching hospital connected to a tier 1 research university will help to keep medical professionals in Central Texas.

“What this does is it builds a pipeline for doctors to stay in the State of Texas. The last thing we would want is, as a state, to send our talent to medical schools in California or New York or Florida and then lose that talent. So, by having adequate medical education in this state, we're able to keep that talent in Texas where it belongs,” Garza said.

In 2011, State Senator Kirk Watson, D-Austin, laid out 10 goals he wanted to accomplish over the next 10 years. One of those goals was a 21st century teaching hospital.

“For me, I'm supposed to be dead a couple of times over. I'm a cancer survivor and I had a recurrence and I every day get to walk on the Senate floor in that magnificent building and the reason I'm still here is because of access to early, effective and frequent health care,” said Watson. 

Now Watson can check that goal off his list.

“So to stand here today is, in many ways, one of those great feelings because you know that the promise is being kept,” Watson said. 

Dell Seton will serve as the only adult level 1 trauma center in Central Texas. Meaning doctors there are able to treat even the most critical injuries.

“The operating rooms are sized so that you can bring all the most complex equipment that you need to handle the most difficult of surgeries and procedures,” said Garza. 

Next weekend patients will be moved from UMC Brackenridge to the new Dell Seton hospital.