(ROUND ROCK, TX) — In support of the recently opened Texas A&M Health Science Center (HSC) Round Rock campus, the Seton Medical Center Williamson has pledged $600,000 toward development of the HSC’s nursing program in Williamson County. The St. David’s Foundation also has given $250,000 to support overall development of the campus.

“This community has truly welcomed us with open arms by coming together to ensure not only the success of Texas A&M Health Science Center but more importantly the success of the future health care professionals that we are training here today,” said Nancy W. Dickey, M.D., president of the Texas A&M Health Science Center and vice chancellor for health affairs for The Texas A&M University System. “We are incredibly grateful for the generous support from the Seton Medical Center Williamson and St. David’s Foundation. These contributions help us meet the needs of Central Texas’ rapidly growing population.”

In recognition of these gifts, private dinners and naming ceremonies for each entity occurred at the Round Rock campus. A wing on the third floor of the building is named the “Seton Education Wing,” and the first floor lecture hall is named the “St. David’s Foundation Lecture Hall.”

“With the tremendous growth we are experiencing in our area, the demand for additional health care professionals is also rapidly increasing,” said Earl Maxwell, CEO of St. David’s Foundation. “In order to address this need, we believe it is critical to support efforts to bring more talented Central Texans into health care professions. We are delighted to lend support to the Texas A&M Health Science Center, which will make health care career opportunities available to many Central Texans.”

The HSC-College of Medicine and HSC-Irma Lerma Rangel College of Pharmacy are providing clinical training for students in Round Rock through rotations in various Williamson County hospitals, clinics, medical practices and pharmacies. In addition to programmatic offerings from the College of Medicine and Rangel College of Pharmacy, plans are under way for the Round Rock campus to host other HSC colleges, including the College of Nursing and School of Rural Public Health.

“As reported by the Texas Center for Nursing Workforce Studies, Texas and the nation continue to face a critical shortage of registered nurses and nursing school capacity as evidenced by the nearly 9,000 qualified applicants who were turned away from Texas nursing schools in 2008 due to a lack of resources,” said Mark Hazelwood, president and CEO of Seton Medical Center Williamson and the Central Texas North Market. “Seton is honored to partner with the Texas A&M Health Science Center in establishing a robust, high quality nursing program to educate qualified nursing school applicants in Central Texas.”

The 134,000-square-foot facility is being used for clinical teaching and includes a simulation center equipped with computer-programmed manikins, student life and student service support, administrative offices, and clinical research space.

Attendees at the dinners and naming ceremonies included representatives from the Seton Medical Center Williamson and St. David’s Foundation, HSC leadership and members of the Avery family, who provided the land to house the campus located west of Farm-to-Market 1460 and south of County Road 112 in Round Rock.

— Marketing & Communications