St. David's HealthCare - January 13, 2023

Leesa Sims, a nurse at St. David's South Austin Medical Center, is one of many employees who has worked at the hospital since it first opened in 1982.

St. David's South Austin Medical Center recently celebrated 40 years of providing exceptional healthcare to the Central Texas community. The facility's success can be attributed to its dedicated hospital staff and innovative technology designed to advance patient care.

Formerly known as South Austin Community Hospital, the facility is the result of the dedicated efforts of some South Austin residents looking to bring more healthcare options to the area. They gathered 3,400 signatures, wrote letters of support to the Austin American-Statesman, South Austin Herald and Austin Citizen, and sported bumper stickers supporting the initiative to bring a hospital to the neighborhood. Eventually, their efforts proved successful, as the Texas Health Facilities Commission approved the construction that paved the way for the hospital we know today.

Rebecca Rexrode began working at St. David's South Austin Medical Center even before there were any patients to treat. When the hospital opened, she was one of seven people working in the facility's lab, and she has watched the small team, which she now supervises, grow into a department of 70. Rebecca has also witnessed the integration of technology within her department as it expands.

St. David's South Austin Medical Center has achieved countless milestones throughout its 40-year history. As a result of its investment in technology and infrastructure, as well as its dedicated staff, the hospital launched the first and only cellular therapy transplant program in Austin and became the first facility in the country to use robotic bronchoscopy and real-time 3-D imaging together to safely find lung nodules and identify cancer with 85 to 100% accuracy. Additionally, St. David's HealthCare's Graduate Medical Education (GME) program is located at St. David's South Austin Medical Center, and the hospital is training the program's first five residents in the inaugural general surgery cohort.

Rebecca Rexrode, lab supervisor (left), and Charles Laird, chief executive officer (right), celebrate 40 years at St. David's South Austin Medical Center.