Highlights - News and notes from the office of the President

Upcoming events
April 20 - African Americans have a higher mortality rate from breast cancer than other ethnic groups, and recent research conducted by the Health Science Center may provide insight into improving survival rates through education and perception. The research, conducted in South Dallas, will be shared with the community and participants on April 20.  Kathryn Cardarelli, PhD, assistant professor of Epidemiology, led the research and recently was awarded a $300,000 Cancer Prevention & Research Institute of Texas grant from the State of Texas to continue her work.

April 23 - The Health Science Center will open its doors to show off an entire floor of research projects at the 18th annual Research Appreciation Day.  Keynote speaker will be Brian D. Smedley, PhD, vice president and director of the Health Policy Institute of the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies in Washington, D.C.  Smedley researches disparities in health and generates policy recommendations on longstanding health equity concerns. 

April 30 - Rudolph Tanzi, PhD, director, Genetics and Aging Research Unit, Massachusetts General Institute for Neurodegenerative Diseases, and professor of Neurology (Neuroscience), Harvard University, will address the eighth annual Neurobiology of Aging Symposium at the Health Science Center on April 30.  World-renowned for his work in Alzheimer's disease genetics, Tanzi will discuss identifying and characterizing Alzheimer's-associated gene mutations/variants with the ultimate goal of defining the molecular, cellular and biochemical events leading to neuronal cell death in the brains of Alzheimer's patients. The free event, open to the public, will take place at noon in Luibel Hall.

May 27-28 - The Texas Center for Health Disparities was established on campus in 2005 and funded by the NIH to prevent, reduce and eliminate health disparities in our communities through research, education and community relations. The Center's 5th annual Texas Conference on Health Disparities, May 27-28, will highlight the striking disparities in women's health status between the racial and ethnic minorities and the general population of Texas and the nation. Of specific focus will be disparities among women with cancer, HIV, cardiovascular disease and obesity, with emphasis on community network programs.

AACOM award
The Health Science Center's Connection news site was recently named "Best Web Site" by the American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine. Visit Connection at: www.hsc.unt.edu/Connection

We are so proud!
U.S. News & World Report has just announced its annual national rankings of America's Best Graduate Schools for Medicine, and we are excited to say our Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine ranked highly in four areas! TCOM ranked 19th in Primary Care, up from 29th last year, our best ranking ever and the highest of all Texas medical schools. Primary care medicine has become increasingly essential, especially since the passage of health care reform laws, and has been a long-term focus of TCOM. The school also ranked 11th in Family Medicine, up from 17th last year; 15th in Geriatrics; and 22nd in Rural Medicine. This is the first year for Geriatrics and Rural Medicine to be included on the list. TCOM has ranked among the nation's top 50 primary care medical schools for nine consecutive years now! Last year, 68.6 percent of our grads entered primary care residencies, the third most in the nation. Not only are we addressing the growing physician shortages in our area and nation, but we are doing so through students who earn the nation's highest scores on osteopathic board exams.

Continuing Education earns industry respect
The Office of Professional and Continuing Education (PACE) at the Health Science Center has been named one of only 20 medical education providers authorized to receive grant funding from GlaxoSmith-Kline for initiatives designed to close health care professional performance gaps and improve patient health. The top 20 were chosen based on rigorous criteria that included proven capability of designing and delivering initiatives that improve health care professional performance and patient health, and a strong history of collaborative efforts.

MD school update
On March 31 we held a Clinical Education Symposium to discuss how other medical schools structure and organize their clinical education programs with their partner hospitals. Panelists from Grand Rapids Medical Education Partners, Northeastern Ohio Universities Colleges of Medicine, Parkland Health & Hospital System, University of Washington School of Medicine, Michigan State University and PricewaterhouseCoopers presented on behalf of their organizations. The symposium was well attended by leaders and representatives from area hospitals, physician groups and health care organizations.

Where art meets science
Since 1985, the Health Science Center's High School Art Competition has been an opportunity for talented 11th- and 12th-grade students throughout North Texas to exhibit their best works in mixed media, printmaking, photography, black-and-white drawing, color graphics, three-dimensional art, painting and computer design in our Atrium Gallery. The competition attracts hundreds of entries each year from many school districts across North Texas, and for many students this is their only opportunity to compete with their peers. This year 300 entries were submitted from a request to more than 90 teachers. The self-supporting show, now in its 25th year, is our longest running community outreach program.

Fifth annual tournament raises funds for educational support
The UNT Health Science Center welcomed 14 new sponsors at the 5th annual President's Invitational Golf Tournament on April 6. With 113 participants and a total of 39 sponsors, the tournament at Ridglea South Country Club raised $69,900 for Health Science Center initiatives.

Community garden effort grows
Mark DeHaven, PhD, professor of family medicine and director of research for our Primary Care Research Institute, launched the National Institutes of Health-funded GoodNEWS Program in 2002 through South Dallas churches to encourage congregants to embrace healthy lifestyle changes. Because there were few grocery stores selling fresh vegetables in many neighborhoods, DeHaven expanded the program to include a series of community gardens. Now through the gardening program, called Healthy Harvest, churches purchase condemned houses, remove the structure and plant gardens, which are tended by the local congregants and community members.  In addition to providing fresh vegetables, the program removes condemned homes from the neighborhood, transforms unused inner-city lots into productive land and provides a safe location for physical activity. Collaborators include PepsiCo, St. Phillips School, Paul Quinn College, seven South Dallas congregations and the UNT Health Science Center.

Tackling infant mortality in Tarrant County
In several Tarrant County ZIP codes, more babies die each year than in almost any other county in the United States. Infant mortality was thus a fitting focus of the third annual North Texas Health Forum, sponsored by the School of Public Health April 8- 9. A record-breaking attendance participated in this free community conference, titled "Reducing Infant Mortality in Tarrant County:  It's Time for Action." The program featured national speakers and local panelists in an exploration of the root causes of infant mortality, and it brought together community leaders and concerned citizens to design workable solutions for change. A guest editorial by Dean Richard Kurz and Mayor Mike Moncrief in the Star-Telegram highlighted this issue and kicked off Public Health Week activities, April 5-9.

Office of the President monthly e-newsletter

UNT Health Science Center at Fort Worth
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