Rusty Reeves has been at UNT Health Science Center for so long that he predates the school from which he earned his PhD. The Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences was founded in 1993, but Dr. Reeves arrived as a student in 1992.
Many things have changed at UNTHSC in the intervening 26 years, but one constant has been Dr. Reeves. Once he got here, he never really left – and our students and health care providers across Tarrant County are better for it.
He and his outstanding team in the Center for Anatomical Sciences are integral to the medical education of our students and the continuing education of health care practitioners across Texas. Through their work, they are making health care safer, while exemplifying both Extraordinary Teamwork and our mission of creating solutions for a healthier community.
In leading our BioSkills lab, Dr. Reeves and his team have shown an entrepreneurial spirit that has enhanced the unit’s financial strength and national reputation. Lab revenues have quadrupled in the last dozen years as word has spread about the quality of training at UNTHSC.
Orthopedic surgeon groups routinely use the lab to improve technique. JPS trains many of its residents to do knee replacements there. A California-based medical equipment manufacturer sends its people to Dr. Reeves and his team for training in the lab, as does an anesthesiology practice from College Station.
Dr. Reeves’ team also oversees an ever-growing educational component. When he came on board as a faculty member, about 140 TCOM and physician assistant students came through the lab every year for gross anatomy. Now about 580 students pass through there annually, including TCOM students, PA students, PT students and our large class from the MedSci program.
In addition, through contracts with Texas Christian University and Texas Wesleyan University, we will soon provide anatomy classes for about 180 students training to be nurse anesthetists. He and his team are helping define and produce the providers of the future.
We invest in our programs with a proven record of success, and that’s true for Dr. Reeves and his team. We’ve spent about $2.6 million in renovations to the anatomy teaching lab. In addition, we will soon be building new embalming facilities and increasing storage capacity for the Willed Body Program.
But perhaps the most telling example of Dr. Reeves’s leadership style is when you ask him about the successes on his watch. “I think I have the best team on campus,” he says.
That’s the kind of leadership we’re looking for. I want to thank Dr. Reeves for his positive impact on UNTHSC.
Update on TCU and UNTHSC School of Medicine
Last week, two important organizations made site visits to examine the progress of the TCU and UNTHSC School of Medicine.
The Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME), which is the accrediting body for MD-granting medical schools, completed an exhaustive visit. The exit interview with the site team was positive with no substantive concerns raised, and we look forward to hearing the accreditation decision in October. If we are granted preliminary accreditation, which is a critical step toward full accreditation, we can start recruiting our first class.
Also visiting last week was a group from the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB), which will determine whether UNTHSC can grant an MD degree. The goal is to issue a dual-name diploma that is awarded by both TCU and UNTHSC, and a positive outcome from the THECB would be a critical step. We look forward to learning of the THECB’s decision in October.
In the meantime, thank you to the teams from TCU, UNTHSC and the School of Medicine for their effort, professionalism, energy and spirit. And I want to thank all of you for your work on behalf of our One University.
My best always,
Dr. Michael R. Williams