UH will Seek Legislative Approval for New Health Science Center
Preparing for health care reform and the changes it will bring, the University of Houston regents on Jan. 30 approved the creation of a Health Science Center at UH.
The plan would group together UH’s clinical programs of optometry, pharmacy, clinical psychology, speech language pathology, and social work, which collectively treat more than 30,000 patients annually and generate more than $3 million in revenue.
|Renu Khator, Ph.D.|
“The creation of a Health Science Center at UH, 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,” said UH President and UH System Chancellor Renu Khator, Ph.D. “Formal creation of this Health Science Center will provide a clear point of access for the community and will allow UH to fill coming gaps in health care.”
Another benefit of a formal health science center at UH would be increased opportunities for collaboration both inside and outside the university, Khator said. With external funding becoming increasingly directed at interdisciplinary programs, collaborating increases researchers’ chances to obtain grant money.
The university’s next steps are to seek approval for the Health Science Center designation from the Texas Legislature during its current session. If legislative approval is secured, UH hopes to launch its new center in 2014.
UH enrolls nearly 11,000 students in 97 health-related degree programs. The university’s research awards in the health sciences totaled $40.5 million – accounting for 38 percent of total UH research – in fiscal-year 2012.
Last year’s royalty income from two UH drugs – one to treat epilepsy, the other to treat cancer – was $12 million, ranking UH 17th nationally among public universities for royalty income.