Any institution devoted to education and research is necessarily preoccupied with the future and what comes next.
Particularly if that institution, like UNT Health Science Center, is located in a dynamic, rapidly growing region like North Texas and in an innovative, forward-thinking city like Fort Worth.
UNTHSC takes seriously its responsibility to prepare its students for the rapidly evolving future of health care.
It looks for ways to blend its growing campus into the cultural fabric of its neighborhood. It seeks a leadership role in guiding the training of future doctors. And it is determined to solve some of the bedeviling problems of health care that threaten to only grow bigger and more challenging as time goes by.
The Health Science Center is helping to create the future of health care by committing itself to becoming a leader in interprofessional education and practice.
Put simply, the idea is to train students in medicine, pharmacy, nursing, physician assistant studies, physical therapy, biomedical sciences, public health and other health care disciplines to work together for the benefit of the patient.
By learning to work in teams, interprofessional experts say that patient care is improved, patient safety enhanced and spiraling health care costs controlled. At UNTHSC, interprofessional programs address cooperation across the care spectrum, from wellness and nutrition programs to chronic-disease treatment and management.
Interprofessional education ranks as one of the Health Science Center’s top strategic goals. To further its expertise in the subject, it annually hosts a national symposium to promote the ideas of patient-centered collaboration.
Bathed in natural light with limestone walls and glass panels, the five-story Interdisciplinary Research and Education Building now being constructed on Camp Bowie Boulevard will be a striking addition to Fort Worth’s showcase Cultural District.
Funded in part by $80 million from the Texas Legislature, the IREB will house activities of the UNT System College of Pharmacy, the North Texas Eye Research Institute and the TCU and UNTHSC School of Medicine.
Set to open in 2018, it will feature medicinal gardens and large open areas. Its centerpiece will be a 3,000-square-foot Healthcare Innovations Lab with interactive kiosks for visitors.
I see an opportunity for innovation that can impact health care in Texas for generations.” Stuart D. Flynn, MD,
Dean, MD School
Planning for a new medical school in Fort Worth operated by UNTHSC and TCU gained momentum in 2016. A founding dean was hired and work began in earnest to develop the MD school’s innovative curriculum, which will emphasize the importance of teamwork in delivering health care.
Stuart D. Flynn, MD, former dean of the University of Arizona College of Medicine-Phoenix, was named dean of the new medical school in the spring.
The idea of patient-centered teamwork is the cornerstone of the new school, which will draw upon the collective strengths of the Health Science Center, TCU and the City of Fort Worth.
First classes are planned for 2019.
Americans die annually from preventable medical errors
The human cost of medical errors is staggering, the financial toll astounding.
Each year, 250,000 Americans die from preventable medical errors. The numbers who suffer serious injury from preventable mistakes may be many more times that. At the same time, medical errors add an estimated $50 billion to U.S. health care costs, and up to $1 trillion in lost human potential and contributions.
UNTHSC’s Institute for Patient Safety, created in 2015 thanks to $4 million secured from the Texas Legislature, is working to turn those alarming statistics around.
It is dedicated to applying education, applied research and other initiatives to impact health care delivery in three areas where it can make a difference: ambulatory care, geriatric care and precision medication.
The Health Science Center’s founding partners in the IPS include Cook Children’s Medical Center, JPS Health Network and TCU.
Biotech superstars with roots at UNTHSC and Fort Worth have proven they have what it takes to shine in the competitive world of pharmacology.
Among the brightest: ZS Pharma, which was acquired by drug maker AstraZeneca for $2.7 billion in cash.
The start-up, which turned to the UNTHSC Acceleration Lab for help in its early days, has been on the fast track since the start. The company developed a drug to treat a life threatening kidney disease.
UNTHSC offers Acceleration Lab Technology Commercialization Programs that provide a wide range of support services for emerging companies working to bring new technologies to market.
Eosera, another start-up benefiting from the UNTHSC Discovery Center Lab, has been hard at work developing a product to dissolve ear wax.
These are a couple of examples of the emerging companies that take advantage of commercialization initiatives offered by UNTHSC, in partnership with TECH Fort Worth. Those programs provide support services like office and lab space, administrative help and research management aid for young firms working to bring new technologies to market.