Dell Children’s Medical Center, part of Ascension Texas, plans to invest more than $300 million in capital, equipment and programming to expand pediatric services on the hospital’s Mueller campus in Austin over the next three years. The investment will include the development of a new pediatric outpatient facility for complex care and expansions to the existing hospital.

This expansion is made possible through a substantial investment from Ascension and a $30 million matching grant from the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation to help ensure that all children can be treated at home in Central Texas.

“The time is now to continue expanding complex pediatric care in Central Texas. Since 2009, more than 5,500 Central Texas children had to leave home to receive complex care, mostly for services in cardiovascular surgery, neurosciences and oncology/hematology,” said Christopher M. Born, President, Dell Children’s Medical Center. “As the only freestanding pediatric teaching hospital and Level I Trauma Center in Central Texas, families rely on Dell Children’s to care for their children, especially those with the most complex cases. Our care must continue to meet the needs of our growing city. In partnership with Dell Medical School, we remain committed to building world-class, nationally ranked care in Central Texas.”

Chris told Austin360.com that when he moved to Dell Children’s from Texas Children’s Hospital in Houston in 2017, he asked the hospital’s planning committee what procedures required children to leave Austin for care. The answer was heart, neurosciences and oncology services. Families were moving to Houston or Dallas or being separated as one parent went with a sick child to another city for care while the other stayed home with the rest of the family in Austin.

“People with good insurance can do that,” he told Austin360, “but it means the poor can’t do that. ... There’s a social impact of what we are doing.”

The new pediatric outpatient facility will be located on Dell Children’s campus adjacent to the existing hospital and will be called the Dell Children’s Specialty Pavilion. In partnership with Dell Medical School at the University of Texas, Dell Children’s is developing a maternal fetal medicine program within the hospital, which will include the addition of a delivery unit and neonatal intensive care unit expansion. Additionally, Dell Children’s will have capacity for more cardiac intensive care unit beds, allowing the hospital’s pediatric heart team to perform more surgeries and expand the program to include heart transplants in the near future.

“Dell Children’s is already a state-of-the-art children’s hospital, and the tremendous work of the doctors, nurses and staff has created an environment where families feel safe and well cared for,” said Susan Dell, co-founder and board chair of the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation. “We are excited to be part of this next phase, making Dell Children’s a destination for the very highest level of pediatric healthcare in Central Texas and beyond.”

This commitment from the Dell Foundation is the newest and largest investment in pediatric healthcare at Dell Children’s Medical Center and will be structured as a match through the HERE campaign – so named because children will be able to remain in Austin for more types of specialty care. 

Dell Children’s Medical Center opened in 2007 with a $25 million philanthropic gift from the Dell Foundation, at which time Susan Dell began serving on the board as a life trustee. In 2011, the Dell Foundation worked with Dell Children’s to meet the growing demand for overnight hospital stays by adding a third tower that added more than 72 beds and 53,000 square feet. In 2015, the Dell Foundation partnered with Ascension Seton to build Dell Seton Medical Center at the University of Texas – the region’s only Level 1 Trauma Center and safety net hospital. These grants, along with additional investments at the University of Texas at Austin in the Dell Pediatric Research Institute in 2006 and Dell Medical School in 2013, are helping to build the pediatric ecosystem needed to build world-class care in Central Texas.

Dell Children’s Foundation, with the generous support of community donors, is spearheading the HERE campaign to raise vital funds to support the growth at Dell Children’s, including the new Specialty Pavilion. The Michael & Susan Dell Foundation’s $30 million matching grant for the advancement of pediatric care is part of its commitment to creating a cutting-edge medical community in Central Texas.

The project will cost more than $113 million and includes a four-story, state-of-the-art pediatric outpatient facility totaling more than 161,000 square feet. It is expected to open in spring 2021.