DALLAS — Oct. 2, 2015 — The UT System Board of Regents today approved the creation of an integrated regional health network (Integrated Network) including the UT Southwestern Medical Center and Texas Health Resources (Texas Health) systems. Approval had previously been granted to Texas Health by its board. 


The new Integrated Network, to be named Southwestern Health Resources, leverages the strengths of two local health care systems to provide increased access to primary care and specialized care for the people of North Texas. 


Plans call for the Integrated Network to include 27 hospitals throughout North Texas, as well as an expansive network of physicians (UTSW faculty, Texas Health employed, university-affiliated and independent) from both organizations. The Integrated Network represents the next step in a long history of cooperation between UT Southwestern and Texas Health. 


As envisioned, the Integrated Network is expected to improve the quality of care and enhance the efficiency of providing health services to North Texans. The Integrated Network will enable hospitals and physicians to work together, using common health profiles so that each person receives quality care at the most appropriate location. The Integrated Network will also create increased access to clinical trials and medical specialists, as well as opportunities to expand medical education and research initiatives. 


“This joint effort will help both organizations better serve North Texas through integration and innovation,” said Dr. Daniel K. Podolsky, President of UT Southwestern. “Our organizations are committed to continuous improvement in the quality and safety of the care we provide, while mindful that society is increasingly and appropriately demanding accountability and transparency in the use of resources and value created for the patient and other stakeholders. We at UTSW believe we also have a special responsibility for driving the translation of scientific advances and innovation into better care for patients. Southwestern Health Resources will include an integrated, coordinated network of nearly 3,000 physicians that can provide the communities of our region the full continuum of care, from prevention and health management to highly specialized care in state-of-the-art facilities.” 


SWMed_PodolskyBerdan“Both organizations share a strong commitment to improving well-being and providing the best possible care for patients at every stage of their life’s journey,” said Barclay Berdan, FACHE, CEO of Texas Health Resources. “We expect the new network will help improve quality and enhance affordability during a time when patients, insurers, and other payers are increasingly sensitive to health care costs. It will enable physicians from UTSW, Texas Health Physicians Group and independent practices the opportunity to come together in a high-performing, clinically integrated care model, governed and led by physicians. But most importantly, this supports our shared mission of improving the health of the people in the communities we serve.” 


Specifically, the Integrated Network is expected to offer several key advantages for patients:


Integrated Continuum of Physician-Driven Care: UT Southwestern’s network of faculty and community-based physicians will work together with Texas Health’s employed physicians and  independent physicians affiliated with both organizations to deliver the highest quality and most cost-effective care through this Integrated Network comprised of  both primary care physicians and experienced specialty care physicians working in an expanded 16-county area. This will enable patients throughout North Texas to continue valued relationships with their local physicians, while benefiting from increased scale and access to an expanded group of acute-care physicians.


Integrated Hospital Network:  The 27-hospital network will focus on delivering coordinated care through UT Southwestern’s two university hospitals and Texas Health Resource’s 25 community hospitals. A key component of this network will be a new organization (a Joint Operating Company) formed to bring together the three Dallas hospitals – UTSW’s William P. Clements Jr. University Hospital and Zale Lipshy University Hospital, and THR’s Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas. This will provide patients unprecedented access to care for their specific needs regardless of their location.


UT Southwestern’s patient care, education, and research missions will remain under its ultimate control, and the Integrated Network will in fact provide expanded opportunities for teaching and clinical research. Texas Health Resources will provide significant support for expansion of UT Southwestern’s academic initiatives as part of the overall affiliation between the two organizations.


The Integrated Network will not alter UT Southwestern’s commitment to its partnership with Parkland Memorial Hospital or its other relationships, including those with Children’s Medical Center Dallas and Dallas Veterans Affairs Medical Center. The new network will not utilize any state funds provided to UT Southwestern. Although UT Southwestern is a state institution, neither its state appropriation nor funds provided by the UT System to UT Southwestern are used in direct support of its clinical facilities or services.