Former Chairman William T. Solomon once referred to Southwestern Medical Foundation’s efforts in establishing UT Southwestern as a remarkable “barn raising.”

The term was coined in 18th and 19th century rural America, referring to when community members would join to construct a large barn, which, at the time, was an exceptional symbol of progress and development.

However, the term holds a different meaning today– referring to the spirit and determination behind a group of people coming together to make a difference and initiate change in their community.

Southwestern Medical Foundation continues to carry this spirit of collaboration in today’s medical landscape, joining with our community partners and supporters in a shared mission to improve health care in the Southwest region and beyond.

Health Wildcatters, a nationally ranked health care accelerator based in Dallas, demonstrates the same “barn raising” mentality that helped establish UT Southwestern in 1943, making strides in health care by providing crucial resources to support modern health care entrepreneurs.

The work of Health Wildcatters represents a significant shift in health care innovation, and Southwestern Medical Foundation is proud to partner with an organization that shares in our mission to continue paving the way towards progress in medicine every day.


Kick-starting Innovation

In addition to supporting health care start-ups, Health Wildcatters connects the minds of leaders in health and science through mentorship, networking, events, and more.

One of the events hosted by the organization is the Texas Healthcare Challenge, a “hackathon-style” event that brings together professionals from a wide variety of fields – from engineers, to doctors, patients, and software developers. Over the span of two days, these industry leaders gather to collaborate on the most prominent challenges in health care, working together to identify problems, find solutions, and ultimately plant the seed for ground-breaking health care initiatives.

By uniting the minds of individuals across various industries and diverse backgrounds under a single goal, the Texas Healthcare Challenge fosters an environment of unmatched collaboration and innovation with the potential to create tomorrow’s leading health care ventures.

Beyond nurturing innovative ideas, the Texas Healthcare Challenge also provides cash prizes and resources to its participants to kick-start their businesses or projects. Participating teams pitch ideas to judging panels made up of industry professionals who provide guidance on their solution influencing some to start actual businesses. All of this support gives teams a chance, if they so choose, to launch a venture with a promising foundation.

The first Texas Healthcare Challenge took place in February 2019, with 18 problem solving teams emerging from a total of 131 participants. A total of $10,000 in cash and in-kind prizes were distributed, including $1,400 awarded to each of the top two teams and $800 to each of the eight finalists. IBM also presented two teams with up to $240,000 in IBM credits.

In an interview with Dallas Innovates, Asad Raza of Data & Digital Solutions, who was part of one of the two winning teams, shared the incredible impact the Texas Healthcare Challenge had on him and his team members.

“It was one of most intellectually stimulating hackathons I’ve participated in. I saw great minds of diverse education, careers, and social backgrounds come together to solve pressing US health care problems. The event provided a forum for individuals and teams to identify and validate a problem, develop a solution and assess business viability towards execution.” Asad Raza, Texas Healthcare Challenge participant

Watch our video below for a recap of the February 2019 Texas Healthcare Challenge:

A Lasting Partnership

Health Wildcatters will be hosting its next Texas Healthcare Challenge August 9-10, and Southwestern Medical Foundation is a proud supporter and sponsor of the event. A few of the themes that will be addressed in the next Texas Healthcare Challenge are Artificial Intelligence in Health Care, Augmented Reality/Virtual Reality Rehab, Cost Reduction and Price Transparency, Mental Health/Brain Health, and the Future of Health Insurance.

The Texas Healthcare challenge represents a larger effort to bring today’s budding ideas of health care to fruition – promising a brighter, healthier future for not only our community, but our nation. Southwestern Medical Foundation is thrilled to partner with a national leader in health care innovation and looks forward to seeing the ways in which Health Wildcatter’s mission will revolutionize the medical landscape.

Read more about the upcoming Texas Healthcare Challenge in August

Read more about the Texas Healthcare Challenge hosted in February 2019