UTHealth announces Quality Enhancement Plan

By Office of Public Affairs

Quality Enhancement Plan

Photo by Dwight C. Andrews/McGovern Medical School at UTHealth Office of Communications

As part of an effort to continuously enhance the academic programs and student learning environment, UTHealth has announced a new Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP) focused on Health Care Policy for Health Professionals. Known as HP2 this QEP will promote student engagement, critical thinking, and career preparedness, and reflects UTHealth’s commitment to institutional quality and effectiveness.

“The underlying foundation of the QEP is that health and science policy will impact each of out students upon graduation,” said Rebecca Lunstroth, JD, associate director of the McGovern Center for Humanities and Ethics, and director of UTHealth’s QEP. “It will inform funding priorities, how much responders are compensated, how we respond to emergencies, and more.”

The three pillars of HP2 are aimed at specific educational outcomes:

  • Evaluating key factors in how policy is made and changed in the U.S. health care system
  • Explaining the role that government and nongovernment agencies play in science and scientific innovation
  • Analyzing the influence of public policy on health care access, delivery, and funding in the United States

Over the next five years, HP2 will undergo studies and assessments to measure the programs impact in these three areas, and make any adjustments needed.

“At McGovern Medical School we will be much more intentional about discussing policy and will provide our students with various opportunities to learn, engage, and analyze policy positions that impact them and their patients,” Lunstroth said. “We will also enhance the advocacy training for our students so that they have the necessary tools to participate in policy formation and debates.”

The QEP Leadership team has engaged each of the six schools in the development of HP2 and designed specific initiatives to ensure its successful implementation. These include:

  • Faculty development to ensure educators have the necessary skills and tools
  • A Civics 101 module that provides learners with basic instruction on how laws and regulations are crafted at the state and national level
  • A virtual health policy pandemic simulation where students will be afforded the opportunity to construct and analyze policies
  • Enhancement of each school’s current curricula, as appropriate
  • Health policy forums that meet school-specific needs
  • Advocacy modules that provide students with tools for engaging in the legislative process

With input from student, faculty, and staff councils at UTHealth, the topic of health care policy was selected through a process involving more than 20 proposed topics for the QEP. HP2 is being coordinated by the McGovern Center for Humanities and Ethics and a QEP Leadership Team with faculty representation from all six schools.

“We are grateful to all of the faculty members who participated in the QEP process, and to the QEP Leadership Team for your tremendous service and efforts in the development and implementation of HP2,” said Giuseppe N. Colasurdo, MD, UTHealth president and Alkek-Williams Distinguished Chair.

For more information about UTHealth’s QEP, including opportunities for student involvement, please contact Lunstroth at Rebecca.Lunstroth@uth.tmc.edu or 713-500-5966.