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'The State of Our School Is Strong'

June 7, 2019

Five years into Dell Medical School’s work to revolutionize how people get and stay healthy, Dean Clay Johnston, M.D., Ph.D., provided a look at its progress and plans during the State of Our School address on May 21.

Johnston began by noting the team’s unique opportunity to rethink health as part of a new medical school created in partnership with its community and built on the foundation of a top-tier research university. From the beginning, the vision to create the medical school of the future — one that educates leaders who transform care, improves health locally as a model for the nation and more — attracted talented people who are passionate about Dell Med’s mission.

“We started with this notion that we were going to rethink everything, but that only goes so far,” Johnston said. “It’s really about moving from ‘rethink’ to ‘remake.’”

Early collaborations are already bearing fruit, including efforts to improve care for veterans, redesign the brain health system and launch mobile health teams that serve people experiencing homelessness. With the opening of UT Health Austin in 2017, Dell Med began putting into practice a person-centered, multidisciplinary approach that rewards value.

“The next five years are even more important than the last,” Johnston said, “as we prove that our ideas, people, partnerships and culture can truly impact the larger, broken health care system.”

In a post-address celebration, Dell Med also unveiled a plaque dedicated to the people of Travis County, who voted in 2012 to create a medical school focused on improving health locally.

“We wouldn’t have gotten this far if it weren’t for the vision and dedication of so many people who believed in and sustained this school from its genesis to now,” said The University of Texas at Austin President Gregory L. Fenves, Ph.D.

For more on Dell Med’s history, progress and future, watch the full State of Our School presentation.