Health Care Edition 2020
Keeping care local These new hospitals will be able to serve families in nearby population hubs, such as Cedar Park, Round Rock and Leander, all of which continue to see tremendous growth. “We’ve been studying the Austin market for several years now. We know it is one of the fastest-growing commu- nities,” Riley-Brown said. “We looked at the anticipated population growth. That is what is drove our decision.” According to data released in late May by the U.S. Census Bureau, the city of Austin added the fth-most residents—more than 177,000—of any city in the past decade. From 2010-19, Cedar Park’s population ballooned by 44.2%, making it the seventh-fastest growing city of more than 50,000 res- idents in the nation. Round Rock was also one of the top 20 fastest-growing cities in the U.S. over the past decade. Leander more than doubled its population from 2010-19 and was o- cially listed as the fastest-growing city in the U.S. from 2018-19. Despite all of that growth, there are currently no children’s hospi- tals north of SH 45 N in Williamson County—only clinics at rehabilitation centers. St. David’s Children’s Hos- pital in North Austin is currently the closest high-level pediatric care hos- pital to Williamson County residents. “While we have a lot of small clinics in the area, the large hospital infra- structure really doesn’t match the rapid growth,” Flannigan said. According to January 2020 data from the Texas Medical Board, there are 365 pediatric medical doctors practicing between Travis and Wil- liamson counties combined. In com- parison, there are 298 practicing pediatricians in Tarrant County itself. Currently, there is just one pediatric specialist, an endocrinologist, working
The two upcoming children’s hospitals promise to provide economic benets to the surrounding communities through highly skilled, high-paying jobs.
HOSPITAL WORKERS IN 2019 I I TRAVIS COUNTY WILLIAMSON COUNTY Annual average employed 20,230 $1,281 Average weekly wage $1.34billion Total annual wages paid $255.58million $1,158 4,242
HOSPITALS IN WILLIAMSON COUNTY As the county grows, more hospitals are being built to accommodate the population.
in Williamson County, according to medical board records. Patients as far as Georgetown will benet from these upcoming hos- pitals by being able to avoid driving into Austin for care, Born said. “As all that growth happens in the northeast, north and northwest sec- tions of Austin, we can provide the same level of care for people who live up north as we do in Central Austin,” Born said. The economic impact of hospitals When completed, the upcoming children’s hospitals will immediately employ hundreds of high-skill, high- wage workers. Texas Children’s Hospital estimates its project will create 400 new jobs, and Ascension said its Northwest Aus- tin hospital will sta approximately 200 professionals just within its walls. “To have a permanent and solid employer in this part of my district is going to have so many benets to all the small businesses in that area,” Flannigan said. Medical centers also have the abil- ity to create ecosystems that support their functions indirectly, local o- cials said. “Hospitals purchase a wide variety
There were 31 hospitals in Travis County in 2019. i i i
2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 YEAR
SOURCES: AUSTIN CHAMBER OF COMMERCE, TEXAS WORKFORCE COMMISSION, U.S. CENSUS BUREAUCOMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER
of goods and services fromfood service and medical supplies to janitorial ser- vices and lawn care, so it brings a range of jobs and small businesses opportu- nities,” said Williamson County Judge Bill Gravell in an email. Further, local ocials see these announcements as a signal to other prospective health care systems that it is time to invest in Williamson County as a burgeoning medical hub. The area’s surging population will require health care needs to be met. That need, coupled with the invest- ments fromAscension and Texas Chil- dren’s Hospital, should make the area
attractive to other medical providers. “It veries what we, and many other companies, already know, which is that Williamson County oers a com- plete package. We have dynamic com- munities, quality education, a skilled workforce, a well-developed infra- structure and superior health care,” Gravell said. Additional reporting by Ali Linan and Brian Perdue
For more information, visit communityimpact.com .
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