Charles Barnett, longtime Head Of Seton Retiring

In February, Charles Barnett,  longtime and much respected leader of the Seton Healthcare Family, will retire after more than two decades. He recently has taken a role as an Executive in Residence at UT’s McCombs School of Business and will serve as a board member of Cognitive Pulse, an Austin-based company that uses advanced analytics, including IBM’s Watson technology, to develop insights from “big data” for improved health care for patients.

Some highlights from Charles’ Seton career:

Under his leadership, Seton grew into Central Texas-wide safety net system for underserved patients, took on operations of Brackenridge Hospital, the Austin/Travis County safety net hospital, and grew Back into a center of academic medicine in Austin.

Seton worked with local pediatricians to create Dell Children’s Medical Center of Central Texas under Barnett’s leadership. That legacy continues with construction of a new teaching hospital, Seton Medical Center at The University of Texas, to be completed in 2017.

Barnett introduced new ways to care for a growing and diverse population, including the addition of insurance products and the first steps toward a more organized system of care.

He always has been guided by the Seton Mission – “All of us who are part of this ministry recognize the responsibility to care for the poor and to reach out to the community,” he has said. Over the past 20 years, the level of Seton’s charity care and community benefit has risen dramatically. In 1991, before Barnett arrived, Seton charity care and community benefit totaled $7 million. In 2013, Seton provided $340 million in charity care alone.

During his tenure, Seton began operating health services within the Austin Independent School District. School nurses are Seton nurses.

Seton entered into relationships with others to provide a continuum of care, and with colleges and universities to ensure a pipeline of well-trained clinicians.

Perhaps the most unique of Seton’s collaborations is the Community Care Collaborative, a partnership between Seton and Central Health, the Travis County health care district, which is designed to manage the care of uninsured persons who qualify for services. Barnett describes the Community Care Collaborative as “an innovative expression of our commitment to offer health care to an underserved population.”


More information can be found here when his impending departure was announced in August 2014:

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