(Austin, TX) – Patricia Young Brown, the only president and CEO in Central Health’s 12-year history, today announced she is retiring from public service at the end of the year.Young Brown was hired by the Central Health Board of Managers in April 2005, shortly after voters approved the creation of a healthcare district for Travis County to provide access to care for low-income, uninsured and underinsured residents. Young Brown dedicated more than 16 years of her career to public service. For five years she served as CEO of the City of Austin Community Care Services Department, and those programs and services were ultimately transferred to Central Health upon its creation in 2004. She has served for nearly 12 years as the founding President and CEO of Central Health.
Young Brown was hired by the Central Health Board of Managers in April 2005, shortly after voters approved the creation of a healthcare district for Travis County to provide access to care for low-income, uninsured and underinsured residents. Young Brown dedicated more than 16 years of her career to public service. For five years she served as CEO of the City of Austin Community Care Services Department, and those programs and services were ultimately transferred to Central Health upon its creation in 2004. She has served for nearly 12 years as the founding President and CEO of Central Health.
“I want to thank the Board of Managers, both past and present, for the opportunity to lead Central Health since the very beginning, creating an essential safety net health care system for Travis County,” Young Brown said. “I’ve enjoyed a long and satisfying career working to significantly expand, improve and secure for the future the Austin/Travis County safety-net health care system. In 2005, we embarked upon a journey to transform health care for the entire community, but particularly our uninsured and underinsured residents. While the journey continues, it is time for me to start a new life chapter and fully pursue the places where my heart is leading me.”
“The future is bright for Central Health. I am proud of our creative, innovative efforts over the years, including our transformative work to rethink how best to provide a safety net for our neighbors who need it most. I am privileged and honored to have played a role in shaping the community vision and setting the direction for this vibrant organization,” Young Brown concluded.
According to Young Brown’s employment agreement, she is required to provide the Central Health Board of Managers a 90-day notice of her intent not to renew her contract. Young Brown notified Central Health Board Chairperson Katrina Daniel in writing Monday evening of her plans to retire from public service effective December 31, 2016.
“Trish is an outstanding public servant who has positively affected the lives of so many people in our community,” Daniel said. “On behalf of the board of managers, and the entire community, we thank Trish for her selfless service. We will be forever grateful to her for helping us fulfill our vision of building a model healthy community. She never lost sight of our mission of caring for those who need it most to improve the health of our community. Trish also pushed us to find new, more innovative ways of delivering health care while always being responsive to taxpayers. She helped us create an organization that is recognized nationally as a model for delivery of local safety net health care.”
Daniel said legacy planning is the responsibility of Central Health Board of Managers. At the Oct. 26 board meeting Daniel will bring forward a search process plan to find Central Health’s next president and CEO.
“We will launch an extensive national search to find our next leader,” Daniel said. “Trish has graciously offered to help us with our transition plan and search, and we know her input and leadership will continue to be invaluable for the next three months.”
“Trish has been a transformative leader at Central Health,” Texas State Sen. Kirk Watson said. “All of us who care about the health and the health care of our neighbors, who care about the wise use of tax dollars or who care about government being willing to think creatively to provide better services owe a debt of gratitude to Trish. She led Central Health through 12 years of extraordinary change and worked tirelessly to target health disparities within our community, ensure access to reproductive health services, and coordinate and invest in mental health service providers.”
“There is no other like Trish Young Brown,” said Rosie Mendoza, treasurer, Central Health Board of Managers. “I’ve been with Central health since inception and I was on the board when we hired Trish and to this day, I believe it was one of the best decisions Central Health ever made. Trish and I are both certified public accountants, so I always appreciated her unwavering commitment to fiscal responsibility for this organization and its enterprises while at the same time increasing services for primary care, specialty care, behavior health and women’s health. She is a trusted, proven leader who was at the right place at exactly the right time for Central Health. Her vision for an integrated delivery system, medical school and teaching hospital will have an effect on this community for many years to come and she will be dearly missed.”
“Trish is a servant leader and a community treasure,” said Clarke Heidrick, board member, Central Health Board of Managers. “She built Central Health from the ground up, recruited a talented and committed staff, and greatly expanded the number of people we serve, the number and scope of the clinics we support, and the availability of mental health services and services for women. She did this while maintaining the lowest tax rate of any large urban hospital district in the state. Trish has also been a leader in developing and implementing the vision for the new Dell Medical School and the new teaching hospital that will benefit the people we serve and the entire community for generations to come. I am very proud to have served with Trish, and all of us at Central Health will miss her very much.”
“We have forged a strong path forward for improved health care for Travis County residents,” Young Brown said. “As difficult as it is to leave this incredible organization, I do so with great satisfaction knowing the community supports the important, life-changing work Central Health is doing, and will continue to do in the future.”
Patricia Young Brown – Key Accomplishments
- Under Young Brown’s leadership, Central Health funded more than 376,000 primary care visits in 2015, more than double the total from 2005, and an increase of more than 24,000 from the previous year.
- The monthly number of individuals covered by the Medical Access Program (MAP) increased 286 percent from 8,485 in 2005 to 24,257 in 2015.
- Young Brown created the Psychiatric Stakeholders Group in 2005, an ongoing community collaboration which has resulted in continuing increases in behavioral health services in our community including a psychiatric emergency department at University Medical Center Brackenridge and the development of the Judge Guy Herman Center for Mental Health Crisis Care, a community based, short-term residential psychiatric treatment facility currently under construction.
- After the passage of Proposition 1 in 2012, Young Brown and her team created the Community Care Collaborative, a key partnership with Seton Healthcare Family, which resulted in the opportunity for Seton to fund and build a new teaching hospital to replace the aging University Medical Center Brackenridge. Through the Community Care Collaborative, Travis County is helping fund the new Dell Medical School at The University of Texas at Austin, which opened in June, and in partnership with Central Health, is already transforming health care for low-income and uninsured residents of Central Texas.
- Young Brown led the opening of new and transformative community health centers, such as CommUnityCare North Central and the Central Health Southeast Health and Wellness Center, which represent the future model for safety-net health care in Travis County.
- Young Brown’s full bio can be found at: https://www.centralhealth.net/about-us/executive-leadership/