December 9, 2014

Construction of Seton Healthcare Family’s $295-million, 211-bed teaching hospital started in Austin, Texas, with four philosophical cornerstones unveiled that will guide its operations: improving medical care; respect and dignity for patients and their families; educating the next generation of clinicians; and innovating through both practice and research.

Seton Medical Center at The University of Texas will open in 2017 on the northwest corner of Red River and 15th streets. Across Red River, on the northeast corner, The University of Texas at Austin’s Dell Medical School already is under construction and scheduled to open in 2016.

Both buildings will be located on a new medical campus that also will accommodate medical school classrooms, faculty and physician offices and research facilities. The other buildings will surround “Seton Medical Center at UT” and stretch from Interstate Highway 35 west to Trinity Street.

HKS is the architect for the project and JE Dunn Construction is the general contractor.

“The Seton Medical Center at The University of Texas is designed to serve as a platform for healthcare delivery in the future,” said David Prusha, AIA, principal/project manager, HKS, Inc. “The hospital is easily expandable and adaptable. Given the constrained site, the building is expandable for vertical expansion, up to five additional floors. Its infrastructure is developed to adapt to changes in technology.”

Joe Don Holley, AIA, CDT, LEED AP BD+C, associate principal/project architect, HKS, Inc., notes, “Collaborative spaces are incorporated throughout the teaching hospital, supporting connectivity within service areas and departments.

“The design team collaborated with the hospital as well as other entities including the University of Texas, City of Austin and Central Health,” said Holley. “We worked with the University of Texas to fold into their medical district master plan as well as select materials to complement the existing campus. Working with the City of Austin, we kept in sync with the Waller Creek master plan as well as legislation defining views to the state capital. We also teamed with Central Health to help Seton maintain its goal of serving as a safety net hospital for Austin.”

The teaching hospital will anchor a platform for academic medicine and research across Central Texas that includes Seton Medical Center Austin, Dell Children’s Medical Center of Central Texas, Seton Shoal Creek Hospital and other facilities in the community.

“This project will have a positive impact on the delivery of health care in Central Texas for generations to come,” said Anthony R. Tersigni, Ed.D, FACHE, president and chief executive officer of Ascension. “As our integrated national health ministry works to reimagine how to provide care in an evolving health care environment, Seton Medical Center at The University of Texas is a shining example of the importance of working in collaboration with others in the community to transform health care for those we are privileged to serve.”

The combination of a new teaching hospital and medical school on the campus of a major research university is expected to create 15,000 new jobs, not including construction jobs. About 60 percent of those jobs will require two years of college or a training certificate. The hospital is seeking LEED for Healthcare Silver certification.

About Seton Healthcare Family: The Seton Healthcare Family, a faith-based non-profit organization founded in 1902 by the Daughters of Charity, is the leading provider of comprehensive, advanced health care and services in Central Texas. Seton operates more than 100 clinical locations including four medical centers, a world class pediatric medical center, two community hospitals, three rural hospitals, an inpatient mental health hospital, three primary care clinics for the uninsured and several strategically located health facilities. The system offers the region’s only Level I Trauma Centers for adult and pediatric patients, and its first heart transplant program. Seton’s insurance division works with commercial insurance companies, community physicians and Medicaid and Medical Access programs for low-income persons, to assist in the management of the region’s overall health. Seton is home to The University of Texas Southwestern (UTSW) Medical Center’s Austin medical residency programs, as well as the Seton/UTSW Clinical Research Institute. Seton is a member of Ascension Health, the healthcare delivery subsidiary of Ascension. For more information, please visit

About Ascension: Ascension ( is a Catholic healthcare organization dedicated to the transformation of healthcare through excellent clinical care throughout the continuum of care and through innovation. Ascension is the nation’s largest Catholic and non-profit health system, providing the highest quality care to all with special attention to those who are poor and vulnerable. Last year, Ascension provided $1.5 billion in care of persons living in poverty and community benefit programs. Its Mission-focused Health Ministries employ more than 150,000 associates serving in more than 1,900 sites of care in 23 states and the District of Columbia. Ascension’s direct subsidiaries provide services that include healthcare delivery, medical equipment management, treasury management, resource and supply management, venture capital investing, physician practice management, and risk management.

About HKS, Inc.: HKS is ranked among the top healthcare architectural firms in the world by Modern Healthcare and BD World Architecture. Operating from 27 offices worldwide, HKS focuses on innovative healthcare design, process and delivery. The firm’s award-winning healthcare architecture includes 2,000 unique projects representing 80,000 beds and 184 million square feet. HKS projects have garnered numerous awards and coverage in worldwide publications. The firm’s healthcare specialists are highly respected international speakers. For more information, visit or contact Trish Martineck at


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Tagged David Prusha, healthcare design, Joe Don Holley, Seton Medical Center