Texas Children’s Hospital is gearing up to open its first Austin hospital in February.

The $485 million project broke ground in early 2021.

Two-minute impact

Texas Children’s has three other locations in the Houston area, along with over a dozen clinics—including pediatric offices, urgent care centers and OB/GYNs—around the state, including in Austin.

The new North Austin campus will mark the system’s fourth hospital expansion and bring upwards of 1,500 jobs, according to Russ Williams, senior vice president of the campus.

“There really isn’t care that we can’t provide here,” Williams said. “It’s not one of those, 'Oh, we need to send you somewhere else.' It would be a rare exception. We’re not going to start off with organ transplants, but that’s about it of what we don’t do.”

Along with an emergency room and urgent care center, the hospital is set to offer a wide range of services, including:
  • Neonatal and pediatric intensive care
  • Labor and delivery unit, including high-risk deliveries
  • Heart center and cardiovascular intensive care
  • Operating rooms
  • Diagnostic imaging
  • Renal dialysis
  • Gynecological services
  • Sleep center
A closer look

One of the hospital’s key features is its triage area, which will allow patients to enter through the main entrance of the hospital and quickly decide if they need the emergency room or urgent care.

“Way too often parents have to make a call at home: is this urgent care worthy, or is this emergency center worthy?” Williams said. “You come here and we will get you to the right place.”

Other key features of the hospital will include:
  • 13 emergency rooms, which includes two trauma rooms and two rooms for behavioral patients
  • Ambulance garage and helipad
  • 10 intensive care unit rooms
  • Fetal center for fetal surgeries
  • Isolation rooms ideal for patients with fragile immune systems, such as those undergoing chemotherapy, or with severe illness such as tuberculosis or COVID-19
  • In-house retail pharmacy to fill and pick up prescriptions
  • Parking garage with Wi-Fi and a skyway directly into the hospital
  • Wayfinding app for patients to navigate around the hospital
  • Cafeteria, coffee shop and chapel
Williams said there are plans to eventually double the size of the emergency center to add 13 additional rooms—five of which would be for behavioral patients—as well as add 14 additional ICU rooms.

In their own words

Williams said the primary reason Texas Children’s decided to make the multi-million dollar investment in Austin was because there were “too many children having to leave the market” for care along with health care infrastructure that hasn’t “remotely kept up” with local growth.

“Over a 10-year period, there were 30,000 kids that left Austin to go to Houston for care. That doesn’t count the ones that went to Dallas; that doesn’t count the ones who went to San Antonio,” Williams said. “The worst part is it doesn’t count all the kids who needed to go somewhere else for care and simply didn’t have the means to go. ... This is the 10th largest city in the country. There is absolutely no reason a child should ever, with unbelievably rare exceptions, have to leave here.”

Stay tuned

Williams said while Texas Children’s owns land in South Austin for a potential future hospital, the initial North Austin project needs to be finished first to be able to invest in another campus.

“We also know there’s a desperate need down south. There’s less down there,” he said. “I think we decided to go north first just because you look at the two of the top five fastest growing suburbs in the country [and they] are here in the northside of Austin. ... This was our best guess about where we could serve the greatest amount of the community and keep [patients] in Austin.”