Dell Family Foundation announces $60 million gift to UT, health care

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by HEATHER KOVAR / KVUE News and photojournalist DEREK RASOR

Bio | Email | Follow: @HeatherK_KVUE

kvue.com

Posted on January 30, 2013 at 7:40 PM

Updated Thursday, Jan 31 at 9:13 AM

ROUND ROCK, Texas -- A $60 million gift from The Michael & Susan Dell Family Foundation to the University of Texas has the medical community excited about the future of health care in the region.

From the donation, $50 million will be paid at the rate of $5 million a year for ten years, going towards the planned medical school. The other $10 million will go towards improving access and quality of local health care.

"They [Dells] have been continued supporters of this community," said Rosie Mendoza, chair of the board of managers of Central Health.

Central Health is the organization that handles the money generated from the property tax increase voters approved in November called Proposition One.

Mendoza said if it wasn't for the citizens of Travis County, "we wouldn't be here today, we would not be talking a medical school."

While the approval of a tax increase made the school possible, Mendoza said not all of the money generated will go to the University of Texas' medical facility.

"A very small portion will go to UT," she said.

The additional $50 million generated by the tax increase will be sent to the federal government.

"In a leverage plan, for every dollar, they'll get back nearly two-and-a half," Mendoza said. "That's like $120 to 130 million on an annual basis coming into this community, and of that $35 million will go to UT," she said.

The rest of the money goes into funding health care for those who can't afford it.

As for where the UT medical school will be located, there has been discussion but nothing has been made public yet. With Dell's investment, the school will be called "The Dell Medical School."

Ben Carrasco is on the Advisory Board of Austinites for Action.

"This is a very powerful example of how the community stakeholders have really coalesced around this effort," Carrasco said.

Austinites for Action strongly supported Prop. One, and Carrasco said they're now going to be focused on reaching out to more people in the community.

"Encouraging them to participate in this effort because it really needs to be community wide," he said.

Carrasco said citizens have stepped up, and he now hopes Dell's investment will encourage others to ensure the success of the teaching hospital.

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