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Executive Updates

Executive Updates from
Dr. Byington

August 2018: Senior Vice President Update

Colleagues,

Howdy!

I hope your semester is off to a great start. If you are one of our new 665 new students beginning your educational journey with us this fall—welcome to Texas A&M! The 2018-2019 academic year promises to be productive and exciting as we strive to further extend our reach and impact across the state in education, research and service. I would like to share with you all a few recent accomplishments and announcements from across the institution:

Health Science Center-wide involvement in Operation Lone Star

All five health sciences colleges participated in Operation Lone Star, an emergency preparedness exercise in South Texas, from July 23 through 27. More than 50 students and 20 faculty from Texas A&M participated in the program, assisting health care providers in delivering services and providing health education to the South Texas community. The event is organized by the Texas Department of State Health Services and is a cooperative effort with the Texas Military Department and Health Science Center. I applaud our students and faculty for their volunteer role in this excellent service activity. It’s a great exemplification of our core values in action!

Healthy South Texas opens new office

Our Healthy South Texas program is improving access to free and affordable prescription medications throughout South Texas with the opening of a new office at the Holding Institute Community Center in Laredo. I am proud of all that has been accomplished thus far in South Texas, and know we have the potential to improve health for all Texans as our programs continue to expand throughout the state.

Global Institute for Hispanic Health awards inaugural seed grants

Texas A&M and Driscoll Children’s Hospital Global Institute for Hispanic Health (GIHH) has awarded grant funding to four research teams—composed of clinicians and scientists from the Texas A&M System, Driscoll Children’s Hospital or the Driscoll Health Plan—in its inaugural Clinical Research Seed Grant program. The funded projects will study health literacy, asthma, obesity and mental health. The collaborative work by these researchers will improve the health of South Texas as a community and directly impact individuals confronted by these unique health issues. I also appreciate the leadership of College of Pharmacy Dean Indra K. Reddy, PhD, who serves on the GIHH executive committee, as well as those who graciously volunteered their time to participate on the proposal review panel.

Two administrators selected for Governor’s Executive Development Program

Regina Bentley, EdD, MSN, RN, CNE, and Jeff Burton, CPA, have been chosen to participate in the Governor’s Executive Development Program. This three-week educational program focuses on organizational strategy, infrastructure management, resource management and personal effectiveness. Congratulations, Regina and Jeff!

College of Dentistry receives $1.7M HRSA grant

The College of Dentistry has received a $1.7 million, four-year Health Resources and Services Administration grant to support oral health workforce activities in Texas. This federal agency grant is designed to address dental workforce needs in shortage areas. I applaud the college on this collaborative project and look forward to sharing additional details as the research progresses.

College of Medicine welcomes nationally recognized PTSD expert

Israel Liberzon, MD, has joined the College of Medicine as the Department Head of Psychiatry, effective August 1. In addition to his leadership role in the Department of Psychiatry, Dr. Liberzon will develop a clinical psychiatry component as part of the Health Science Center’s new Interprofessional Faculty Practice Plan, fulfilling a need for psychiatric clinical treatment and support in Bryan-College Station and surrounding areas. We are honored to welcome Dr. Liberzon to Texas A&M and look forward to working with him to transform clinical care, research and educational programs focused on mental health.

Nursing program ranked #1 in nation

The College of Nursing’s RN-to-BSN program has been ranked #1 in the nation by thebestschools.org, which evaluates programs based on quality and range of courses provided, as well as the institution’s awards, rankings and reputation. This is a well-deserved honor for the college, which is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year. Kudos to all faculty and staff who play a role in this program!

Public health partners with Houston Methodist Hospital

Houston Methodist Hospital, the Texas A&M University System and Texan by Nature have partnered to form the Center for Health and Nature, which will be housed within the Center for Outcomes Research at Houston Methodist Hospital. The Center for Outcomes Research is a partnership between Houston Methodist Hospital and the Texas A&M School of Public Health, and is led by the School of Public Health’s Bita A. Kash, PhD, MBA, FACHE. I am excited about this multi-disciplinary research, which seeks to provide research that firmly establishes the link between exposure to nature and health outcomes.

Again, I wish you a productive, challenging, and successful academic year. I look forward to sharing additional information and exciting developments in the coming months. For real-time updates, please follow me on Twitter @carrie_byington and visit the Vital Record news site.

With warmest wishes,
Carrie L. Byington, MD