from Dr. Byington
December 2017: Holiday Message: A Year in Review
To the HSC Community,
With the holidays quickly approaching, I want to take the opportunity to wish each of you good health and all the joys of the season. It has been my privilege getting to know so many of you over the last year. Thank you for welcoming me into this remarkable community.
The students, faculty, and staff at the Health Science Center are such talented and dedicated individuals. It is inspiring to participate with you in creating a dynamic learning environment in the service of the state. It is not possible in this brief message to highlight all that has been accomplished over the past 12 months, but I would like to draw your attention to just a few of the many highlights of this year.
- The College of Nursing received recognition as one of the top nursing schools in the state. The college was ranked the #1 nursing program in Texas by RegisteredNursing.org.
- We announced Texas A&M’s newly created Center for Population Health and Aging, led by the School of Public Health, to coordinate research and community programs that promote optimal aging.
- The College of Pharmacy became a member of the National Institute for Pharmaceutical Technology and Education, a prestigious, not-for-profit organization dedicated to fundamental research and education in pharmaceutical product development and manufacturing.
- The College of Dentistry dedicated the site of the college’s new Clinic and Education Building. This nine-story, 157,756-square-foot facility is designed to serve a new era in dental education by fostering group practice settings that emphasize patient care outcomes.
- The College of Medicine formalized an expanded partnership with Fort Hood’s Carl R. Darnall Army Medical Center, which will allow for a minimum of 60 medical students to rotate through the facility per year—a number we expect to grow, and diversify across the health professions, in the coming years.
- The Texas A&M and Driscoll Children’s Hospital Global Institute for Hispanic Health was launched. The joint institute representing all of the colleges of the Health Science Center will advance the health of the Hispanic community through research, ensuring the needs of this population are addressed when developing new drugs and life-saving therapies.
- The College of Dentistry was awarded a second five-year Center of Excellence grant, totaling $3.5 million, from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Centers of Excellence program to advance diversity in faculty and students.
- The College of Medicine welcomed our third Tillman Scholar in three years. Anthony Dolomisiewicz, who is pursuing his Doctor of Medicine, was named our most recent Tillman Scholar.
- Healthy South Texas worked with local health departments, physicians, women’s health clinics, federally qualified health centers and other organizations to distribute more than 5,000 Zika prevention kits that provide expectant mothers with mosquito repellent, bed nets, condoms and educational material about preventing Zika.
- Our faculty, students and resident physicians throughout the state not only weathered the storm, they came together as first responders during Hurricane Harvey, wholeheartedly fulfilling our Aggie core value of selfless service.
- The Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas awarded more than $8.6 million in grants to faculty members. Many of these awards involved investigators working collaboratively across the Health Science Center colleges to advance cancer research.
- The Texas A&M University System Board of Regents authorized the purchase of an 18-story building on Holcombe Boulevard in Houston, adjacent to our Institute of Biosciences and Technology in the Texas Medical Center, to catalyze our EnMed program.
- We welcomed Roderic I. Pettigrew, PhD, MD, a physician-scientist, internationally recognized leader in biomedical imaging and bioengineering, and an elected member of both the National Academy of Medicine and National Academy of Engineering, to Texas A&M. Dr. Pettigrew will serve as CEO of EnHealth, the nation’s first comprehensive educational program to fully integrate engineering into all health-related disciplines, and Executive Dean of EnMed.
- We celebrated the College of Medicine’s 40th anniversary of welcoming students to the college. The year-long celebration culminated in a scholarship gala earlier this month, where we raised enough gifts to permanently endow several medical student scholarships.
- Construction on our MREB II building on the Bryan campus made great progress. The last major structural concrete pour will take place this week and utility connections are also in progress and will be completed later this week. Finally, interior framing is ongoing, and spaces inside are taking shape.
It is an honor to report on so many significant milestones. We have accomplished much in 2017, and I look forward to reaching even greater heights together in 2018.
I hope everyone enjoys the well-deserved break and that it is a time of rest, rejuvenation, and merriment. I wish you all the best in these last days of 2017 and in the New Year.
With warmest wishes this holiday season,
Carrie L. Byington, MD