FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CHRISTUS Spohn-COM Affiliation
June 1, 2004
Contact: John Holder (979) 458-0669
Office of Communications
The Texas A&M University System Health Science Center
http://tamhsc.edu
A&M Health Science Center College of Medicine – CHRISTUS Spohn Health System Affiliation Agreement Announced
The Texas A&M University System Health Science Center College of Medicine and CHRISTUS Spohn Health System are pleased to announce their affiliation to train medical residents in the Coastal Bend. A press conference marking the official announcement of affiliation will take place at 10 a.m. on Thursday, June 3, 2004, at CHRISTUS Spohn Hospital Corpus Christi-Memorial, 2606 Hospital Boulevard (Lower Level Auditorium), in Corpus Christi. On hand to make the announcement and give details of the affiliation agreement will be several leaders from the A&M Health Science Center and CHRISTUS Spohn Health System, including Nancy W. Dickey, M.D., president of the A&M Health Science Center and vice chancellor for health affairs for the A&M System; Kathy McDonagh, chief executive officer of CHRISTUS Spohn Health System; and Christopher C. Colenda, M.D., M.P.H., dean of the A&M Health Science Center College of Medicine.
Also appearing at the press conference will be Peter D. Banko, vice president of CHRISTUS Spohn Hospital Corpus Christi-Memorial; Sister Carol Ann Jokerst, vice president of mission services for the CHRISTUS Spohn Health System; Juan Castro, M.D., director of the A&M Health Science Center’s Coastal Bend Health Education Center; Glen Couchman, M.D., chair of the department of family medicine at the College of Medicine; and Rick Edwards, M.D., director of graduate medical education and interim director of the Family Practice Program at CHRISTUS Spohn Hospital Corpus Christi-Memorial.
“Training of physicians to care for Texans has always been the mission of the A&M Health Science Center College of Medicine,” said Nancy W. Dickey, M.D. “And training family physicians whose skill set is so vital to serving the rural and underserved is particularly central to our mission. This partnership is an exciting step forward for both of us.”
“Partnerships like this one afford the College of Medicine the opportunity to enrich our educational programs in the Coastal Bend region,” said Christopher C. Colenda, M.D., M.P.H. “Under the College of Medicine banner, we have added to our commitment of family medicine training and service. We are excited about the development of a rural track experience for our medical students in the Coastal Bend area, which would not be possible without the support of CHRISTUS Spohn Health System and the Coastal Bend Health Education Center.”
The Corpus Christi Family Residency Program began in 1972 and has grown from 12 residents to 36. Each year, more than 200 medical students apply for acceptance into the residency program, and 12 are chosen to join the program, which focuses on training physicians to become board-certified in family practice. The program’s residents enhance CHRISTUS Spohn’s mission to serve the poor and underserved. Residents, with faculty supervision, treat patients in the Dr. Hector P. Garcia Family Clinic. In addition to seeing patients in the family clinic, residents serve rotations in obstetrics, gynecology, emergency medicine, general surgery and intensive care at Memorial, and a rotation in pediatrics at Driscoll Children’s Hospital, also in Corpus Christi.
The A&M Health Science Center is well established in the Coastal Bend region. Driscoll Children’s Hospital provides pediatric medical education to College of Medicine students. The Coastal Bend Health Education Center at the A&M Health Science Center, created in 1999, is working to educate health care students and practitioners, provide health education to the public and promote health career recruitment in the region. Health education offerings include a master’s degree program in public health taught through distance education by the A&M Health Science Center School of Rural Public Health. The Health Science Center has also developed partnerships with Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi, Texas A&M University-Kingsville and other educational and health care institutions in the Coastal Bend. The affiliation with CHRISTUS Spohn increases the College of Medicine’s primary care education and research practice network.
Faculty for the Corpus Christi Family Residency Program includes 15 physicians who teach, advise and mentor residents, molding them into family physicians prepared to meet the challenges of practicing in a rural setting. CHRISTUS Spohn Health System is the primary funding source for the residency program, with additional support provided by the Nueces County Medical Educational Foundation.
The affiliation between CHRISTUS Spohn Health System and the A&M Health Science Center College of Medicine is a logical extension of the Health Science Center’s existing programs in the Coastal Bend and complements the A&M System’s land-grant tradition of reaching out to communities across Texas with its teaching, research and outreach programs. The affiliation is a growth opportunity for CHRISTUS Spohn Health System and the citizens of South Texas that further enhances health care in the region.
The A&M Health Science Center College of Medicine is also affiliated with the Scott & White Residency Program in Temple and the Brazos Family Medicine Residency Program in Bryan.
The Texas A&M University System Health Science Center provides the state with health education, outreach and research. Its five components located in communities throughout Texas are Baylor College of Dentistry, the College of Medicine, the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, the Institute of Biosciences and Technology and the School of Rural Public Health.
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