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Posted: October 22, 2012

FY 2012 Wrap Up: Excellence in Academics, Research, Patient Care, and Community Engagement


Dear Community Friends and Supporters:

The UNT Health Science Center (UNTHSC) is a vital partner in the success of our city and the health of our community. As we review our fiscal 2012 results, you'll be pleased to know that - thanks to your support and friendship - our institution continues to build momentum in each of our academic, research, patient care, and community engagement missions, while also fulfilling the promise we make to those we serve: "Solutions for a Healthier Community."

Let's take a quick look at a few highlights: 

ACADEMIC EXCELLENCE

Our academic strength continues to grow in regional and national prominence:

  • Among 160 academic medical centers in the nation, U.S. News and World Report nationally ranked several of our academic specialties for 2012:
    • 12th for Rural Medicine
    • 15th for Geriatric Medicine
    • 16th for Family Medicine
    • 35th for Primary Care
  • U.S. News and World Report also noted that the UNTHSC has the highest percentage of medical students entering primary care of all Texas medical schools - and the second highest percentage in the country among all ranked institutions.
  • Hispanic Business Press ranked us 12th in medical education for Hispanics.
  • Our students continue to excel in National Board of Osteopathic Medical Examiners' COMLEX-USA for mean scores, ranking 1st, 2nd, or 3rd in the country for Levels 1 and 2 for five consecutive years.

Great programs attract great students, and the UNTHSC continues to attract the best and brightest in growing numbers to care for an expanding Texas population:

  • Applications to the Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine (TCOM) are up significantly; in fact, they have more than doubled (128 percent) in the past decade.
  • We have met or exceeded all of our goals for student growth, and achieved a record-breaking enrollment of 1,949 students.
  • Since 2006, overall enrollment has grown 73 percent, with each school contributing to the increase:

o   TCOM - up 54 percent

o   School of Health Professions - up 266 percent

o   Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences - up 62 percent

o   School of Public Health - up 54 percent

  • Under the guidance of founding Dean Mike Jacobson, PhD, the new UNT System College of Pharmacy is scheduled to open in August 2013.

RESEARCH

UNTHSC achieved significant research milestones in 2012, despite nationwide reductions in federal (National Institutes of Health) funding:

  • A record-breaking level of research expenditures - $42,249,749 - along with the second-highest number of patent applications in our history.
  • An all-time high number of research discoveries were shared in 316 publications.
  • A doubling of School of Public Health research funding from external sources.
  • The largest number of participants, and highest-ever quality, of investigative presentations at our 20th annual Research Appreciation Day (RAD).
  • Launch of a new Executives-in-Residence program to support technology transfer.
  • Hiring of David Cistola MD, PhD, as Vice President of Research, to lead the expansion of both our clinical and translational research efforts.

PATIENT CARE

Our 220 UNT Health providers offer patient care at 49 practice sites, including through-out the JPS Health Network. This year, the multi-specialty faculty group practice:

  • Completed installation of a state-of-the-art electronic medical record and practice management system that delivers greater operational efficiencies and standardized, best practice care techniques.
  • Had more than 553,000 patient encounters and reported its sixth straight year of profitability, which supports our academic, research, and community engagement missions.

COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT

UNTHSC contributes to the health of patients and well being of our region - and the nation - through public involvement. Some highlights:

  • The National Institute of Justice awarded the UNTHSC a grant to manage the National Missing and Unidentified Persons System (NamUs), a national clearinghouse for information related to missing persons and unidentified human remains. Medical examiners, coroners, law enforcement officers, family members of missing persons, and concerned citizens can use the database to help resolve cases.
  • The UNTHSC received a $3.5 million grant from the Life Technologies Foundation to open the Life Technologies Center for Forensic Excellence, which trains scientists from around the world in forensic technology
  • The Texas Academy of Biomedical Sciences, a UNTHSC partnership that allows high school students to prepare for careers in the health sciences while earning up to 60 hours of college credit, earned provisional designation as an Early College High School by the Texas Education Agency.

We convened and partnered with community groups dedicated to a healthier tomorrow:

  • UNTHSC Board of Visitors (17 members)
  • UNTHSC Foundation Board (32 members)
  • Healthy Aging Council (42 members)
  • Public Health and Prevention Council (56 members)
  • Applied Genetics Council (7 members)

We continued getting the word out about our progress both internally and externally:

  • We continued to bundle our North Texas Health & Science magazine with 360West, increasing our visibility and reach.
  • We ramped up advertising with a multi-location billboard campaign, which gains over 1.4 million weekly "eyes-on" views.

This past year, our students, faculty, and staff volunteered more than 15,000 hours to high-profile community events such as:

  • Cowtown Marathon
  • Hispanic Wellness Fair
  • Academic outreach programs for the Fort Worth Independent School District

On a personal note, I was honored to chair a 12-member community task force to create a plan to establish Fort Worth as a "destination medical city" based on a robust "life sciences" economy that positions the UNTHSC as a catalyst for improving our community's health. Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price, Tarrant County Judge B. Glen Whitley, and Fort Worth Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Bill Thornton are now leading this community-wide effort.

ENHANCEMENTS TO OUR ENVIRONMENT

New campus enhancements reflect our continuing commitment to students, faculty, and staff, which include:

  • A new library courtyard will debut in early 2013, greatly enhancing our neighborhood appeal.
  • Our library features a state-of-the-art computer help desk and teaching areas such as:
    • The Anatomy Bar (a 60-inch digital virtual dissection table)
    • The Clinical Simulation Laboratory (robotic mannequins for hands-on student practice)
    • The Discovery Room (digital collaborative workspace with adaptive furniture and an 82-inch multi-touch sensing LCD display for story-boarding and data visualization)
  • The Center for Learning and Development provides faculty with enhanced support for curriculum development, grant-writing workshops, and educating educators, and houses:
    • TCOM Academy (update and improve instructional skills)
    • Center for Online Education (distance learning)
    • Center for Inter-professional Education (encourage cross-collaboration among disciplines)
  • Doubled work space for the Department of Student Affairs and tripled workspace at the Center for Academic Performance

I hope this summary gives you a sense of pride in the ways the UNTHSC excels in education, research, clinical care, and community engagement. There's a growing sense of excitement about our ability to provide solutions for a healthier community, and I thank you for your part in our achievements!

Sincerely,

Scott B. Ransom, DO, MBA, MPH
President

If you are with the media and need additional information or would like to arrange an interview,
please contact Jeff Carlton, Director of Media Relations, at 817-735-7630.

 

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