St. David's HealthCare

St. David's HealthCare is one of the largest health systems in Texas and Austin's
third-largest private employer, with more than 60 sites throughout Central Texas,
including seven hospitals, four urgent care centers, four ambulatory surgery centers,
and two freestanding emergency departments, with a third set to open in Bastrop this summer.

St. David's HealthCare has a long history of serving the residents of Central Texas
with exceptional medical care. Our 7,500 employees touch over 858,000 lives each
year with a spirit of warmth, friendliness and personal pride.

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Interview: Donald Wilkerson, CEO

2/12/2009 12:00:00 AM

Interview with Donald Wilkerson, CEO of St. David's North Austin Medical Center and St. David's Women's Center of Texas.

How did this project come about?

Over two years ago, as we were evaluating our need for the expansion of our women's services, we were approached by Austin Area OBGYN, an OBGYN group located in Central Austin, that was looking to move its practice to north Travis County. They knew of our hospital's commitment to women’s services, as evidenced by a previous women's services expansion in 2001 that the hospital had undertaken following the move of the Renaissance Women’s Group to our campus, and wanted to learn more of our future plans for women's care. Through those conversations, it became apparent that there were a lot of similarities in how we saw the future of women's care. At that time we were busy as a hospital and our volumes were growing quite significantly from a women’s services perspective. When AAOBGYN indicated they wanted to move up here, we knew that took us to a new place in terms of how we would look at developing the women’s services expansion at this facility to accommodate the volume of patients we would be caring for.

How did the AAOBGYN end up joining St. David’s North Austin Medical Center?

They felt it was important to move north and wanted to be associated with a facility committed to developing the various health-related services necessary for the care of women. Our location, the presence of other respected ob-gyns from The Austin Diagnostic Clinic, Renaissance Women's Group and OBGyn North, the availability of a full-service tertiary medical center with a Level 3 Neonatal Intensive Care Unit and our commitment to developing women's services were key to the group's decision. AAOBGYN wanted to associate with a facility that would be all encompassing when it came to women's services and that had the potential to grow in the years following their relocation and, their vision aligned with ours.

What made St. David’s North Austin Medical Center a good choice?

It was not only the commitment of the hospital to women’s care, but also our commitment to having the various support services necessary for the care of women and their newborns. For example, our plans to initiate an obstetrics hospitalist program that has board certified ob-gyns in the hospital on a 24-7 basis, our commitment to expand maternal fetal medicine services and to expand our Level 3 NICU from 16 to 36 beds. To get to this stage, it really took all of the great doctors we had working at this hospital taking exceptional care of their patients. And then, also, with AAOBGYN moving up here, it really gave us the opportunity to develop this center in a way that it will meet our needs for years to come and up to well over 7,500 births. Then we can add up to five additional floors, whether it’s for doctor’s offices or for other doctor’s services related to the care of women. It’s really a vision for now but it’s also certainly a vision for the future.

What makes this facility unique to Central Texas?

The St. David's Women's Center of Texas is a facility that will house not only physicians and services, both clinical and retail, that are dedicated to serving the needs of women, but will have doctor’s offices, a women’s imaging center and all of the labor/delivery recovery postpartum rooms in one building. Even though the postpartum rooms and the NICU are located inside the main hospital, the new women’s center connects by sky bridge. Everything that happens in that building, and as it grows, will be solely to the care of women. While it will open with three floors of doctors’ offices, women's diagnostic imaging, a Breast Cancer Resource Center and the hospital's labor and delivery services, it has been designed to grow to eight floors. As that happens there will be some women’s related retail being developed — such things as spa-related services. AAOBGYN will be occupying one of the three floors of this building. They are in the latter phase and will be moving to this campus in March or early April of 2009. By the end of 2009, it is projected that more babies will be born at the St. David's Women's Center of Texas than anywhere else in Central Texas.

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