Board of regents approve health center
President and Chancellor Renu Khator applauded members of the Board of Regents Wednesday after it unanimously approved the creation of a Health Science Center at UH.
“The creation of a Health Science Center, which would include patient care, workforce training, research and community outreach, is critical to the economic and social well-being of the region and state,” Khator said.
“With numerous academic, research and clinical programs in the health sciences, our university plays a vital role in meeting these needs. (The Health Science Center) brings a new level of synergy and focus that will broaden the impact of our research and education programs and provide a clear point of access for the community,” Khator said.
Health care is the largest and fastest-growing industry in Texas, employing 1.3 million workers in more than 200 careers. UH enrolls almost 11,000 students in 97 health-related degree programs and awards more health degrees than any other institution in Texas.
Facilitation of the Health Science Center will enhance the University’s ability to address regional and state health care needs.
The new Health and Biomedical Sciences Building, adjacent to the College of Optometry, opened in the fall, and a new Pharmacy and Biomedical Sciences Building is planned for the same part of campus. The newly approved Health Science Center will complement the expansion.
With a diverse array of programs, UH is well positioned to be at the forefront of developing fresh, innovative models for educating health care professionals and providing patient care.
“My hope is that this center will bring the community together,” Khator said.
The Health Science Center will put UH in a position to increase tuition through expanded enrollment in professional training programs and federal dollars through pioneering research programs and third-party payments for clinical services.
The University’s next steps are to seek approval of the Health Science Center from the Texas legislature and, once approved, create a faculty position that will oversee Health Sciences. Implementation of the Affordable Care Act, in particular, will provide an influx of new resources into the health care arena, and UH must be positioned to get the most out of this new law.
“Enhanced visibility, reputation and innovation in the health sciences will enable UH to recruit and retain high-quality faculty and students,” Khator said, “and increase research productivity, all of which support the University’s Tier One goals.