June 28, 2016
By Steve Kuhlmann
The Texas A&M University System is set to announce a new partnership in Austin Tuesday afternoon, aimed at creating a Hispanic health institute to help further the access of clinical trials and information to the public.
The partnership with Driscoll Children’s Hospital in Corpus Christi will initially be funded with $2 million and will expand throughout South Texas through specialty clinics, AgriLife Extension and various other programs hosted by Texas A&M.
“Hispanics disproportionately suffer from hypertension, diabetes and cancer,” said Texas A&M University System Chancellor John Sharp. “If they are to benefit fully from clinical research, we must consider the special needs of this population such as genetics, lifestyle, and risk factors while developing new drugs and life-saving therapies.”
S. Loyd Neal Jr., chairman of the Driscoll Children’s Hospital governing board, said the hospital is hopeful that the partnership between the two institutions will help to continue its mission of providing quality health care to both the Hispanic population and the children of South Texas.
“The health of our Hispanic population in South Texas is a top priority of the Driscoll Health System,” Neal said. “This collaboration with Texas A&M will enhance our mission as we continue to lead in delivering quality health care to all South Texas children.”
The collaboration is planned to serve both adults as well as children as it seeks to increase the participation rate of Hispanic community members in clinical trials to a level comparable to the state’s demographic makeup.
One of the driving factors behind the initiative, Sharp said: “Almost four in 10 Texans could benefit from greater research focused on the Hispanic population.”
The university is expected to provide staffing and management while the hospital is planned to select the researchers, physicians and other community partners to work with the institute.
Texas A&M University President Michael K. Young said the partnership between the hospital and The Texas A&M Health Science Center will continue to build upon “our commitment to transformational research and service to the state of Texas, specifically in South Texas.”
The specialty clinics participating in the program will be in Brownsville, Harlingen, McAllen, Laredo and Victoria.
Source: The Eagle