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Sunday, December 5, 2021

Academics & Research

Gov. Greg Abbott joins Renu Khator, Tilman Fertitta, others at medical school preview


Gov. Greg Abbott and other Texas lawmakers joined President Renu Khator, Board of Regents Chairman Tilman Fertitta and other UH notables at a preview of the new medical school building. | Haya Panjwani/The Cougar

Gov. Greg Abbott and other Texas lawmakers joined President Renu Khator, Board of Regents Chairman Tilman Fertitta and other UH notables at a preview of the new medical school building. | James Schillinger/The Cougar

Gov. Greg Abbott joined UH President Renu Khator, Board of Regents Chairman Tilman Fertitta, College of Medicine Dean Dr. Stephen Spann and various lawmakers for a preview of the new UH medical school building on Wednesday.

The event highlighted the University’s journey to building the new facility, as well as recognizing the first two classes to join the College of Medicine. 

“I remember many, many years ago, actually, when I went to plead with the governor about this vision for the College of Medicine, and the governor just got it right,” Khator said. “Right away, he saw how important it could be for Houston, for the UH, for the community, but also for the state of Texas. … Once he said he was on board, I knew what we have been waiting for, it will somehow get done.” 

After approval from the governor, Khator said she worked with Texas Sen. Joan Huffman, R-Houston, to get the bill passed in the state legislature. 

School administrators also thanked state lawmakers, like Reps. Armando Walle, D-Houston; Borris Miles, D-Missouri City; and Greg Bonnen, R-Friendswood, for getting bills to fund the school passed through the legislature. 

Abbott celebrated the medical school’s current class at the event, while also praising Khator for her work in getting the College of Medicine project off the ground.

“She’s always looking 10 years down the road, and she has mentally constructed in her mind what the University is going to look like 10 years in the future, and even further than that,” Abbott said. “And to see all these pieces come together the way that she envisioned it is stunning.”

Spann also detailed the plans for the College of Medicine, saying the school’s facility will officially open in July 2022. 

“This beautiful three-story 130-square-foot building contains state-of-the-art, large and small group teaching spaces,” he said. 

He also said the building will help train generations of UH physicians to care for the city and the state through various new facilities. 

“In addition, a gross anatomy and a clinical pathology teaching lab, a large simulation center with outpatient clinic and inpatient hospital rooms, students study spaces, learning communities and wellness faces, faculty administration offices, conference rooms, and spaces to meet with and provide health education to residents of our surrounding community,” Spann added.

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