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Plan unveiled for Austin medical school, hospital, clinics

Austin American-Statesman, September 21, 2011
Texas State Sen. Kirk Watson outlined an ambitious plan to establish a medical school, a teaching hospital, a series of neighborhood clinics and a health-related research institute in Austin. "I'm going to lay out 10 goals for the next 10 years and, in addition, lay out an initial organizing committee ? a group of people in a position to help make sure that this happens," Watson, D-Austin, told the American-Statesman on Monday. "Every 't' hasn't been crossed, and every 'i' hasn't been dotted, but it's time to go from incremental to transformational." His proposal comes at a time of a growing consensus among civic leaders that Austin should have a medical school, the centerpiece of his plan. Austin is the second-largest city in the nation without a medical school, the largest being San Jose, CA. City leaders, the Greater Austin Chamber of Commerce, the Seton Healthcare Family and St. David's HealthCare expressed support for a medical school more than three years ago. In the past couple of years, the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas and Seton have collaborated here to expand medical research and training, a partnership seen as a possible precursor to a medical school.