As the fastest growing industry in the Dallas region, health care has generated 32,000 jobs over the past decade. The Dallas health care sector billed $4.97 billion in 1990, a whopping increase of 136 percent over 1980, and an annual increase of 11.3 percent, according to the Greater Dallas Chamber. In the next decade, experts predict, seven to 10 of the fastest-growing occupations will be in the health care industry while medical facilities will continue to expand citywide.
As we head into the next century, Dallas leaders expect the growth to increase even more dramatically. Our medical community, already well respected, will gainer increasing recognition and respect worldwide, while current efforts to become an international referral base for health care are expected to come to fruition.
The expansion of the health care industry itself will promote economic growth in other areas. Local business will benefit by being able to provide employees with sound health care at more reasonable prices. And a quality health care system plays an important role in luring new companies to the city.
Other businesses touched by the need to service hospitals, physicians and patients and their families will also benefit from this growth. The success of Dallas’ medical facilities will continue to launch and sustain peripheral health-related businesses such as medical equipment suppliers and pharmaceutical companies, In addition, restaurants, hotels, retail stores and other service-related industries will be indirectly but positively affected by the growth of health care industry facilities.
The key to this successful growth is and will continue to be the high quality of care that is available. Central to this quality are world-class physicians, superior facilities and a spirit of cooperation within the medical community that is unique to Dallas.
The Medical Community
The medical industry is only as good as its people, and in Dallas an outstanding medical faculty is the rule rather than the exception.
Hailed worldwide, some of the most progressive work in the medical arena is underway here. Dallas is also home to a legacy of excellence in clinical research and care:
Dallas is the Southwest’s leading center for organ transplants. In the past decade, local doctors have conducted more than 3,000 transplants, including the world’s first combined heart, pancreas and kidney transplant.
Dallas cancer specialists are world-renowned for successfully treating childhood cancers, brain tumors and cancer of the digestive system. The Susan G. Komen Foundation is a forerunner in the advancement of the diagnosis and treatment of breast cancer.
Cardiovascular specialists have dramatically surpassed the national average of successful clinical outcomes in coronary bypass surgery.
Dallas neurosurgeons lead the nation in the number of operations performed to remove brain aneurysms. The city is a thriving center for a wide range of neuroscience programs, including brain and central nervous system disorders. Dallas also boasts one of only three epilepsy surgical treatment facilities in the country.
Dallas physicians are also known for their capabilities in orthopedic subspecialties, burn and trauma care, craniofacial reconstruction, neonatal care, sports medicine, rehabilitation services, and treating digestive disorders.
Dallas’ medical facilities, which play an important role in the city’s economic base, have already achieved national reputations and will continue to be recognized for excellence.
Anchoring the Dallas community .is The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center and its medical school. The total economic impact from UT Southwestern alone accounts for approximately $1.71 billion annually.
As state funding has decreased in recent years, UT Southwestern has made up the difference through private donations, its fund-raising efforts for research surpassing any medical school.
The school provides access for continuing research and medical progress necessary for the community to garner international status in the medical field. Home to Nobel Prize winners, National Academy of Science Members and other world-renowned physicians and researchers, UT Southwestern continues to attract a top-notch faculty from all over the world.
The medical corridor that houses UT Southwestern is formally called University Medical Park and includes the UT Southwestern campus and its teaching facility, Zale-Lipshy University Hospital.
Also in the corridor is the largest of UT Southwestern’s primary affiliates, the 940-bed Parkland Memorial Hospital. A county facility lauded for its extensive emergency and trauma care and its regional burn treatment center, Parkland has a $330 million proposed operating budget for 1993 and an employee base of 6,000.
Plans to expand this already tremendous facility are underway. Near the main campus just north of Stemmons Freeway on Harry Hines Boulevard, dirt is flying in the development of a north campus and a $300 million addition that will ultimately house six research towers.
The 266-bed Children’s Medical Center of Dallas is also one of Dallas’ largest medical facilities and is one of the nation’s 10 largest pediatric hospitals. The pediatric teaching facility for UT Southwestern, the hospital deals exclusively with a variety of children’s diseases and disorders such as cystic fibrosis, childhood cancer, heart and kidney diseases.
Children’s not only meets the needs of gravely ill children, but offers health care to all children on a continuing basis to ensure their healthy growth. Children’s had 8,623 inpatient admissions and 106,251 outpatient visits in 1991.
Scottish Rite is another important medical facility for children in our city. Recognized as one of the finest pediatric orthopedic medical centers in the nation, there is no charge for treatment at this hospital.
As the oldest private, acute-care facility in Dallas, St. Paul Medical Center also plays a vital role in promoting quality health care locally. Located in University Medical Park, the facility has provided nearly 100 years of service since its formation in 1895 by the Daughters of Charity at the prodding of city leaders.
Today, the facility is licensed for 600 beds, staffs 720 physicians and employs more than 2,700 people. Last year alone, St. Paul provided $11 million in charity care to the community through outreach programs, medical education and other services, according to Ira Schlezinger, vice president of planning and marketing for the hospital.
Schlezinger lists women’s services and neonatal care, cancer, cardiology and bone and joint work among St. Paul’s specialties.
While Schlezinger admits it’s hard for Dallasites not to take for granted the “good resources” the city has, St. Paul and other facilities continually score high in terms of patient satisfaction.
With 508 beds, Methodist Medical Center, just southwest of downtown is another important health care facility in Dallas. Methodist specializes in a wide range of health services including cardiac rehabilitation, organ transplants, obstetrics and trauma.
On the east side of downtown lies Dallas’ largest hospital. With 1,500 licensed beds, Baylor University Medical Center is the country’s third largest private, church-affiliated hospital. It stands proudly as the flagship property for an eight-hospital nonprofit health care system.
Baylor has a reputation for quality medical services in a variety of areas including cancer treatment, care for premature babies and physical therapy.
The Baylor-Charles A. Sammons Cancer Center at Dallas has recently played an important role as the only site in North Texas to take part in a historical breast cancer study last year.
Baylor’s Pediatric Center for Restorative Care provides care and education for children and parents of the prematurely born, while preparing both child and family for long-term care at home.
The Baylor Institute for Rehabilitation provides continuing rehabilitative and therapeutic care using a team approach in a hospital setting.
The hospital will continue to focus on providing clinical excellence in patient care programs, building a more efficient outpatient program, and additional recruiting of primary care doctors, says Baylor’s president and CEO, Boone Powell, Jr.
Head north from downtown on North Central Expressway to Forest Lane to find Humana Hospital-Medical City Dallas. The 555-bed acute care complex is a unique medical facility tailored to meet the needs of adults and children alike.
The Center for Children has more than 100 independent physicians on staff and is internationally known for its work in craniofacial disorders, epilepsy and orthopedic disorders. Children have come from more than 30 states and a dozen foreign countries seeking care here.
Another growing program at Medical City involves the surgical intervention of epileptic seizures. The process allows doctors to literally map out the brain of a patient to locate where the seizures are coming from, thus preventing them in the future.
Medical City also prides itself on its work in cardiology with The Cardiac Center, and its commitment to women’s services with specialties such as its Fertility Center, explains Donald Stewart, president of Medical City Dallas. Stewart, who assumed his post only a year and a half ago, says the industry here is one of few that have consistently grown. “I lived in Las Vegas and California and Dallas was a place you always wanted to emulate,” Stewart says.
Presbyterian Hospital of Dallas, located just east of North Central Expressway on Walnut Hill, is another important part of Dallas’ medical community. This 900-bed flagship of the Presbyterian system houses the only free-standing center dedicated exclusively to the care of women and infants.
Other specialties at “Presby” include rehabilitation and neonatal intensive care, the Institute for Exercise and Environmental Medicine, the Sleep/ Wake Disorders Center and the Southwest Diagnostic Imaging Center.
Presbyterian’s future targets for referrals include oncology, neurosciences, women’s and newborn services, cardiovascular service and exercise and environmental medicine.
Finally, Presbyterian and Children’s Healthcare Center is a 90-bed full service hospital and a 30-bed behavioral health center for children, adolescents, and adults. The center, founded by Presbyterian Healthcare System and Children’s Healthcare Center, the parent of Children’s Medical Center, serves the needs of families and corporate employees in far North Dallas, Denton and Collin Counties.
The Spirit of Cooperation
Superb facilities and physicians are a large part of what makes the Dallas medical community so successful. But, what makes Dallas truly unique in its ability to deliver quality health care is the spirit of cooperation between the individual medical facilities, note industry observers.
“I’ve been amazed how the physicians and hospitals have come together and the hospitals as a group work much better together than in many towns,” says Roberta Graham, a health care consultant in the Chicago office of KPMG Peat Marwick. “I’ve been amazed how we’ve been able to get cardiac surgeons from five different hospitals to sit around a table together and comfortably define what quality is. You don’t find many communities where the physicians and the hospitals are willing to take that risk.”
Helping to propel the collaboration in health care are groups such as The Health Industry Council of the Dallas-Fort Worth Region and Dallas Medical Resource. Both organizations were formed in 1988 to promote cooperation and strengthen and enhance the reputation of the local health care sector.
More than 80 businesses, institutions and organizations make up the nonprofit council. The group addresses such issues as community health care education, new health care business development, international trade opportunities and ways to expand local economic benefits.
Dallas Medical Resource was created by business, medical and health care leaders to aid in the development of the city’s status as an international referral center for quality medical care.
As part of a forged commitment to provide state-of-the-art care supported by aggressive programs of research and education, nine medical facilities make up DMR: Baylor University Medical Center, Children’s Medical Center of Dallas, Medical City Dallas, Methodist Hospitals of Dallas, Parkland Memorial Hospital, Presbyterian Healthcare System, St. Paul Medical Center, The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas and Zale-Lipshy University Hospital.
Through cooperation between medical care purchasers, major employers and insurance companies, DMR is working to develop medical services for a negotiated contract price. The idea is to integrate the diagnosis and treatment of health problems such as organ transplants, cancer and neurological disorders, while encouraging each medical facility to focus on its specialties, curbing the propensity to duplicate resources.
Members of DMR are also carrying out a computer-based telecommunications system to link the transmission of medical information electronically to provide easy, quick access to physicians while boosting care in communities.
Through a telecommunications system and a personal computer, the Dallas Medical Network provides health care professionals with on-line access to medical and diagnostic information, clinical services and consumer aid services.
These efforts to collaborate will enable a rapid transfer of information and increased patient care.
Baylor’s president, Boone Powell cites the joint ownership among Baylor, Methodist Medical Center and Presbyterian Hospital of the area’s Care-Flite program, which provides emergency flight care to the entire community, as another example of cooperation.
“On an aggregate basis, Dallas is a strong medical community, with superb clinical medicine and strong research capabilities,” continues Powell. “If there is something wrong with you, by and large you can find your needs met at a high level in this city. Put it all together and it is a very big segment of our local economy. One of our strengths and one of the shining stars of our future.”
With changes in national policy imminent, there are many uncertainties in the health care profession today. But Dallas leaders vow that a continuing commitment by our city’s excellent medical community to collaborate will ensure stability and continued success.
As KPMG Peat Marwick’s Roberta Graham explains, what makes Dallas unique is that the work to keep health care costs down is being propelled by people in the health care industry, which is far from the norm in other cities.
“Here, it is the hospitals and physicians driving it and saying we want to work to lower health care costs, and we believe we can provide high quality care while we do that” Graham said. “It’s an incredible credit to Dallas.”
Quality health care will continue to be an important part of the Dallas community, and thanks to the forward-looking efforts of professionals in the health care profession, the future of this industry looks bright.
And continued success in this important industry can only mean good things for the future of our city as a whole.