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Seton names chief of new teaching hospital [Austin American-Statesman :: ]
[July 29, 2014]

Seton names chief of new teaching hospital [Austin American-Statesman :: ]

(Austin American-Statesman (TX) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) July 30-- A San Antonio hospital executive was named Tuesday as chief of Austin's new teaching hospital, slated to open in 2017.

Christann "Chris" Vasquez, executive vice president and chief operating officer of University Health System, led efforts to build a new facility to replace University Hospital in San Antonio. She will assume similar duties here, starting in August, about two weeks before the Seton Healthcare Family breaks ground Aug. 26 on the new Seton Medical Center at the University of Texas.

As that hospital's first president, Vasquez will collaborate with UT and local doctors to strengthen clinical programs and recruit faculty for UT's Dell Medical School, opening in 2016.

With more than 25 years in health care, Vasquez said she is leaving a bigger job in San Antonio to come to Austin because of the opportunity to help build a new medical school and teaching hospital from scratch.

"I see this opportunity with Seton and the University of Texas as a major milestone and a career opportunity to do something really unique," she said in a phone interview Tuesday. "You will have the opportunity to collaborate and innovate to create a new academic teaching environment. That, to me, is the most exciting thing about it." In her current job, Vasquez oversees operations at the 400-bed University Hospital, which opened in April, as well as a system of 16 clinics and the Texas Diabetes Institute, one the nation's largest centers for diabetes care and research.

Before coming to San Antonio in 2009, Vasquez held various health care jobs in the Houston area, including executive posts at the public Memorial Hermann Healthcare System and with the for-profit Hospital Partners of America, a system of hospitals and clinics, according to her résumé.

Jesús Garza, Seton's president and chief executive officer, said Vasquez's experience made her an attractive candidate.

"A modern, person-centered approach to care depends on leadership's ability to collaborate with diverse partners," Garza said in a written statement. "Chris demonstrated that strength in San Antonio, and we will see her bringing that dimension here, working with staff, doctors and our academic, entrepreneurial and public partners." The medical school and new hospital, which Seton will own, will be located at 15th and Red River streets, across from University Medical Center Brackenridge. The new hospital will replace UMC Brackenridge as the community's chief teaching and safety-net hospital.

Vasquez has a master's degree in hospital administration from the University of Houston-Clear Lake.

___ (c)2014 Austin American-Statesman, Texas Visit Austin American-Statesman, Texas at Distributed by MCT Information Services

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