October 15, 1997


FORT WORTH, Texas - The University of North Texas Health Science Center and Columbia Plaza Medical Center of Fort Worth have entered into agreements that significantly enhance the residency training programs offered by the UNT Health Science Center's medical school, the Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine (TCOM), and increase educational, research and employment opportunities for this area and medical students nationwide.

Stephen Bernstein, chief executive officer of Columbia Plaza, and Dr. David M. Richards, president of the health science center, announced the new affiliations. Programs are effective immediately and involve a high degree of professional collaboration and training in Columbia Plaza's extensive clinical environment.

"We have an obligation to our medical students to provide them with the best possible options for serving residencies, and our agreement with Columbia Plaza is part of fulfilling that obligation," said Dr. Richards. "We are confident that the level of training our residents will receive will be top of the line and will broaden their opportunities at every level."

"The synergy created by our new affiliation will strengthen Fort Worth's national reputation as a medical training center," said Bernstein. "Columbia Plaza shares the health science center's dedication to education, patient care and research. Our formal affiliations are creating exceptional opportunities to put Fort Worth even further out front on a national basis."

The agreement, when fully implemented, will allow TCOM graduates to become eligible for residencies at Columbia Plaza, including graduate medical education opportunities in obstetrics/gynecology, surgery, and public health/preventive medicine. The agreement also provides for student rotations at Columbia Plaza for the medical schools's third and fourth year students. Faculty physicians of the Physicians & Surgeons Medical Group at the UNT Health Science Center will also collaborate with Columbia Plaza's medical staff in clinical research projects.

"Our medical school graduates will now have the opportunity to gain residency experience at Columbia Plaza, in addition to the other local hospitals the health science center has agreements with," said Dr. Benjamin Cohen, executive dean of TCOM. "We are proud to have our medical school graduates enter fine residency programs such as Columbia Plaza's, as well as such institutions' as the Mayo Clinic, Cleveland Clinic, Johns Hopkins University/Sinai Hospital and Tulane Medical Center."

The UNT Health Science Center produces one of the highest numbers in the United States of primary care physicians, the nation's most sought after health care providers due to managed care. Over 70 percent of TCOM's graduates are serving as primary care physicians. The UNT Health Science Center is committed to achieving excellence in its programs of education, patient care and research.

Columbia Plaza Medical is recognized regionally for its cardiac and neuroscience centers of excellence. Moreover, Columbia Plaza is expanding its primary care programs, based on national medical trends and patient needs. The facility has 320 beds, and approximately 900 physicians on staff.