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Our History

The UNT Health Science Center is one of the nation's distinguished graduate academic health science centers, dedicated to education, research, patient care and service. It comprises the Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine (TCOM), the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences (GSBS), the School of Public Health (SPH), the School of Health Professions (SHP), which includes the Physician Assistant Studies and the Physical Therapy Programs, and the new UNT System College of Pharmacy. UNT Health is the faculty practice providing direct patient care for the citizens of Tarrant County.

A 33-acre, 1.2 million square-foot campus located in Fort Worth's Cultural District, the Health Science Center has a $220 million annual budget and adds approximately $600 million into Fort Worth's economy annually. It has a combined faculty of more than 400, a staff of more than 1,400 and 750 part-time and adjunct faculty from other institutions and the community.

The Health Science Center began when TCOM accepted its first students in 1970. The first class of doctors of osteopathic medicine graduated in 1974. TCOM is Texas' only college of osteopathic medicine and one of only 28 in the nation. Roughly 65 percent of the more than 3,000 physicians it has trained practice in primary care fields, such as family medicine, internal medicine, obstetrics/gynecology and pediatrics. Other graduates have chosen specialties ranging from aerospace medicine to heart transplant surgery. TCOM has been ranked one of the top 50 medical schools in the nation for primary care by U.S. News & World Report each year since 2003. It has also been ranked as one of the Top 20 Medical Schools for Hispanics by Hispanic Business magazine four times since 2005.

With the establishment of the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences in 1993, the name of the institution was changed to the University of North Texas Health Science Center at Fort Worth. In 1999 the Health Science Center joined UNT’s Denton and Dallas campuses to form the UNT System.

The School of Public Health was established in 1997. Also in 1997, the first students matriculated into the Physician Assistant Studies Program, which is now in the School of Health Professions along with the Physical Therapy Program.

The UNT System College of Pharmacy, the first pharmacy college in North Texas, also the first to be located on the campus of an academic health science center, held its first classes in 2013.

The Health Science Center is home to the Gibson D. Lewis Health Science Library, where virtually the entire wealth of the world's current medical knowledge is accessible to the public seven days a week through sophisticated information search networks and computer databases.

In keeping with its location in Fort Worth's Cultural District, the campus also boasts the Atrium Gallery, a public art gallery that is a member of the Fort Worth Art Dealers Association.

UNT Health is one of Tarrant County's largest multi-specialty medical group practices. UNT Health now handles more than a half million patient visits each year for everything from lab work and surgery visits to geriatric care. The group's doctors practice in 40 medical and surgical specialties and subspecialties, including allergy/immunology, family practice, cardiology, gastroenterology, geriatrics, gynecology, internal medicine, neurology, obstetrics, oncology, orthopedics, pediatrics, physical therapy, psychiatry, sports medicine and surgery.

The Health Science Center has created the Health Institutes of Texas to speed research discoveries from bench to bedside. The Health Institutes of Texas include: the Cardiovascular Research Institute, the Center for Commercialization of Fluorescence Technologies, Focused on Resources for her Health Education and Research (For HER), the Institute for Aging and Alzheimer’s Disease Research, the Institute for Cancer Research, the Institute of Applied Genetics, the North Texas Eye Research Institute, the Texas Center for Health Disparities and the Texas Prevention Institute.

The UNT Center for Human Identification, which is housed at the Health Science Center, receives federal funding to analyze DNA samples from both unidentified remains as well as reference samples submitted by family members of missing persons to law enforcement agencies nationwide. The Center is one of only nine in the nation with access to the FBI’s next-generation CODIS 6.0 DNA Software. The Health Science Center is the only academic center with access.

Bowling Pins

The Health Science Center also serves as home to several National Institutes of Health-funded research programs and currently leads all Texas health science centers in research growth. In the past five years, extramural research awards have increased by more than 100 percent.

Through the Office of Clinical Trials, faculty physicians participate in clinical research projects, seeking improved treatments for such disorders as high blood pressure, migraine headaches, ulcers, arthritis and diabetes.

The Health Science Center also is an active collaborator with TECH Fort Worth, a business incubator designed to create alliances between innovators in the biotechnology field and businesses and investors who can help not only bring the research brought to them to fruition, but also provide valuable economic development opportunities to Fort Worth.

The Health Science Center proudly serves the community through a variety of community and school outreach programs. For example, the Health Science Center founded the Fort Worth’s annual Hispanic Wellness Fair and the annual Cowtown Marathon. The center participates in several and federally funded programs that bring students and teachers onto campus each summer.

This page last updated Nov 04, 2013
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