Lei-Shih (Lace) Chen, PhD, a professor at the Texas A&M University School of Public Health,…
A&M-SA announces new partnership with official signing ceremony, marking a more than $500 million investment in public health
Texas A&M University-San Antonio (A&M-SA) held a signing ceremony on Dec. 1 to announce a new partnership with Texas A&M University Health Science Center (Texas A&M Health) and University Health. The affiliation agreement brings three nationally recognized entities together to co-create and expand education pathways and research opportunities in the high-demand health sciences eco-system for historically underserved communities.
Speakers for the signing ceremony included Chancellor John Sharp, The Texas A&M University System; President Dr. Cynthia Teniente-Matson, Texas A&M-San Antonio; President and CEO George B. Hernández, Jr., University Health; and Chief Operating Officer and Senior Vice President Dr. Jon Mogford, Texas A&M Health.
The purpose of the partnership is to establish an affiliation agreement and guiding framework for collaborations among University Health’s existing and future community hospitals and public health facilities. The agreement will focus on educational and research opportunities that impact Bexar County, adjoining counties, and South Texas, as well as to support the military community.
The new University Health public health facility and hospital development, which will be located at the west entry to A&M-SA’s campus, will enhance accessibility to medical services and health education. In 2021, University Health acquired 68 acres to develop a 256-bed hospital by 2027. In July 2022, Bexar County appropriated $30 million for a public health division facility, slated for completion in 2026. The nearly $500 million investment in the hospital and newly formed University Health Institute of Public Health will enhance service to individuals and families in South Bexar County and the 22 neighboring counties in South Texas. In addition, The Texas A&M System Board of Regents approved funding to build a $45 million College of Education and Public Health facility at A&M-SA.
This unique collaboration will also:
- Expand undergraduate, graduate and professional health-related medical education and clinical programs with Texas A&M Health
- Grow A&M-SA enrollment in health science related program offerings such as community health and rural health degree offerings, health care administration, behavioral health programs, health science and biomedical degrees
- Create a new public health unit at A&M-SA for research
- Support the development of medical, clinical and non-clinical workforce to serve the community and Latino/a leaders in health-related fields
- Promote a positive patient experience, compassionate patient care, excellence in education, public health promotion and intervention, and outstanding health outcomes
“When it comes down to it, collaborations are important. University Health needs well-trained health care professionals. Texas A&M Health Science Center and Texas A&M University-San Antonio create them. This agreement formally recognizes that and binds us, helping us each to better accomplish our shared missions of serving San Antonio,” Sharp said.
A&M-San Antonio will expand its collaboration with the ASPIRE network of seven independent school districts to educate and train future professionals in the fields of community health, environmental health and pre-clinical studies, building a pipeline to create a diverse and inclusive workforce. A&M-SA and its ASPIRE ISD network can grow K-12 readiness in health care through middle school experiential learning, high school P-Tech Programs and specialty dual-credit courses.
“This is a historic partnership focused on the collective impact that catalyzes the strengths and reach of University Health, Texas A&M Health and A&M-San Antonio. This partnership amplifies our collective efforts to address health inequities in South Bexar County and significantly enhances A&M-San Antonio’s ability to intentionally educate theLatino/a community for tomorrow’s health professionals for our region and state,” Teniente-Matson said.
Texas A&M Health has long understood the need for greater health care access in South Texas. Through well-established relationships and new ones like this, Texas A&M Health is expanding its education and training opportunities to create a diverse workforce of health professionals, building upon both clinical and public health expertise to engage families and individuals in research-based preventive health strategies, and improving access to care that reduces health care costs for those who face unaffordable services.
“This partnership is a shared vision to create a patient-centered culture for our communities and improve health care access,” said Jon Mogford, PhD, chief operating officer and senior vice president of Texas A&M Health. “By taking direct interventions to improve population health and address the needs of our growing and diverse populations, we will be able to decrease health disparities for the common good.”
University Health is proceeding with plans to construct and operate a community hospital, medical office building and dedicated public health facility at the A&M-SA west entry as well as expanding its network of outpatient clinics to increase health care access in underserved areas of Bexar County. This strategically placed suburban acute care hospital will enable many patients to receive routine types of hospital services, such as low-risk births and hip replacements, without having to travel to the medical center.
“This agreement among Texas A&M-San Antonio, Texas A&M University Health Science Center and University Health marks a profound step forward in growing health care professions for our community,” Hernández said. “Today’s ceremony formalizes the understanding that these three entities have a natural partnership that will improve access to care and also provide more health education pipelines, ultimately improving health care for residents of Bexar County and South Texas.”
Through joint strategic planning, the partners seek to improve population health and health equity through the pursuit of quality and efficient health care in a customer friendly environment, promoting a positive patient experience, outstanding outcomes, and translational and community-based research as well as to develop innovations in medicine, biomedical research and public health.
Media contact: Dee Dee Grays, email@example.com, 979.436.0611