Tuesday, July 22, 2014
TTUHSC Establishes School of Public Health in Abilene
The new school was made possible by the second largest gift in the university's history.
Written by Beth Phillips
The School of Public Health is a collaboration between TTUHSC and the Abilene community.
President Tedd L. Mitchell, M.D., and Texas Tech University System Chancellor Robert L. Duncan, recently announced the establishment of the School of Public Health in Abilene. This is the institution’s sixth school — the fourth on the Abilene campus.
“Today’s announcement is another example of the great collaboration among Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, the Hendrick Health System and the Abilene community,” said Tim Lancaster, member of the Texas Tech University System Board of Regents and president and CEO of Hendrick Health System.
“Together, we are advancing health care throughout the region and state with our new School of Public Health. I look forward to this exciting chapter for Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center at Abilene.”
The School of Public Health in Abilene was made possible by a large gift from private donors. This is the second largest gift in university history. The money will be used to construct a third building on the Abilene campus, provide start-up funds and establish an endowment for long-term sustainability.
“The establishment of a School of Public Health is a historic milestone for Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center and the Texas Tech University System,” Duncan said. “This new school will be a catalyst for healthy communities and provide professionals who empower people to lead healthier lives. Thank you to Dr. Mitchell for his leadership and commitment to this project and to the many donors and members of the Abilene community who have generously supported this initiative and our regional campus over the years.”
According to the Association of Schools of Public Health, public health challenges have grown, while the public health workforce has diminished since 1980. To meet the increased demand, it is projected the U.S. will need more than 700,000 public health professionals by 2020.
TTUHSC is the only major health sciences center in Texas that does not have a School of Public Health. Mitchell said the new school will act as a resource for the region, by acquiring and providing data vital to those in the public and private sectors who seek to better understand the factors that impact the health of citizens.
“This gift makes possible a major goal we’ve been working towards for many years – the establishment of a School of Public Health dedicated to improving the lives of West Texans,” Mitchell said. “Through educational and research programs, the TTUHSC School of Public Health will address the growing needs of our region and state by providing professionals trained to study and preserve the health of communities.
“We could not have done this without the support of the Abilene community and the hard work of its leaders,” Mitchell added. “This school adds an entirely new dimension to TTUHSC’s mission to serve the great folks of West Texas and beyond.”
In March, the university established a Department of Public Health and a Master of Public Health Degree Program within the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences. The program is aimed at improving the health of people by providing high-quality educational opportunities to students and health care professionals, advocating knowledge through scholarship and research and improving public health practice.
TTUHSC at Abilene offers programs in nursing and pharmacy. In addition, the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences expanded its biotechnology program to Abilene last year. Eight students are expected to begin classes this fall. Students have access to state-of-the art laboratories and internship opportunities with Experimmune, a Center for Immunotherapeutic Development.
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TTUHSC at Abilene
TTUHSC at Abilene offers the latest in educational opportunities that provide real-world experience necessary to meet the challenges of the health care industry.
Nursing, biomedical sciences and pharmacy faculty provide hands-on learning, which helps students gain the practical knowledge they need to become health care providers.