The School of Rural Public Health (SRPH), part of The Texas A&M University System Health Science Center, and Scott & White in Temple are holding a convocation on May 28 to acknowledge the partnerships between the two institutions and the graduation of the first distance education class. The event, a part of the SRPH’s fifth year anniversary, will begin with a poster presentation at 4:30 p.m. in the lobby of the Education Center on the Scott & White campus. The convocation, held in the Mayborn Auditorium, begins at 5:30 p.m., followed by a reception.
Scheduled speakers at the event include Al Knight, M.D., president and CEO of Scott & White; Nancy Dickey, M.D., president of the A&M System HSC; Ciro V. Sumaya, M.D., M.P.H.T.M., dean of SRPH; Hasan Rajab, Ph.D., M.P.H., head of the Biostatistics/Outcomes and Effectiveness Research Group; Charles Phillips, Ph.D., professor and program director of the Health Services Research Program; and Frank Villamaria, M.D., M.P.H.
The relationship between medicine and public health is a natural one. While public health deals with the health of populations—including prevention and education—medicine deals more so with individuals. Hand in hand, the two disciplines can address issues of prevention, education, access to care and other relevant topics. To that end, SRPH formed a relationship with Scott & White in Temple. Physicians and public health faculty work together on a variety of projects.

Ibarra Lectureship

SRPH and Scott & White began this collaboration in 2002 by co-sponsoring the Ninth Annual Jesse D. Ibarra, Jr., M.D., Lectureship in International Health. In 1993, the Scott & White Clinic Board established the lectureship to honor the contributions made by Dr. Ibarra, who retired from Scott & White after 43 years.

Health Services Research Program

The Health Services Research Program (HSRP) brings together the health services research and medical communities in College Station and Temple to research issues in health service delivery. A competitive small-grant program supports research proposed by investigators affiliated with SRPH, Scott & White Clinic and Hospital (S&W)/College of Medicine clinicians. For each of its first three years of operation, the program has $150,000 in funds to distribute to collaborative projects.

Cox Endowed Chair

The John L. and Maurine Cox established an Endowed Chair in Medicine in 1989 to promote clinical-related research at Scott & White Memorial Hospital in partnership with the A&M System College of Medicine (COM). The generous gift by Cox was matched by Texas A&M’s endowment funding program to establish the $1 million endowed chair. Ciro V. Sumaya, M.D., M.P.H.T.M., dean of the School of Rural Public Health at the health science center, is the first recipient of the endowed chair. Sumaya, a pediatric infectious diseases specialist, is also a professor in the department of pediatrics at COM/Scott & White Memorial Hospital.

Distance Education Master of Public Health

SRPH initiated its unique distance education program (DE) in 2000. Students earn a master of public health degree in health policy and management or a master of health administration. The program targets working health professionals. SRPH faculty travel to Temple to teach classes on-site two evenings a week. Beginning in fall 2003, a new SRPH/S&W affiliation will exist that allows family practice residents at Scott & White to earn their M.P.H. as well. There are currently 39 students enrolled in the Temple distance education program. This represents approximately 15 percent of the entire SRPH student body.

Ph.D. Program in Health Services Research

SRPH launched its first doctoral degree program in fall 2002. Three of the initial six students in the doctoral program are employed at Scott & White. Thus, the academic training programs at SRPH also directly support Scott & White’s efforts to expand their health services research capabilities. The School anticipates that their doctorate research work will directly involve Scott & White clinical services and delivery systems.
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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