September 12, 2019
As McGovern Medical School celebrates its 50th anniversary this year, we do so within the context of honoring the core tenets of compassion, collaboration, and curiosity. Collaboration is central to the longstanding history this school has with our three main hospital partners: Memorial Hermann, Lyndon B. Johnson General Hospital, and UTHealth Harris County Psychiatric Hospital. The relationship between any hospital system and medical school is not always easy, but together with our hospital partners, we have always done right by the community and worked to provide excellent care for patients and families.
Many years ago, the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board charged The University of Texas System with evaluating the medical needs of the state. A growing population with the need for additional physicians, as well as strong support for medical research, led to a new medical school in Houston. The UT System worked with the Hermann Hospital Estate, and our medical school was born through an affiliation with Hermann Hospital. In 1997, Hermann Hospital and Memorial Health Care System merged to form the Memorial Hermann Health System we know today.
The relationship between UT and MH has grown over the years as both institutions have expanded. While Memorial Hermann-Texas Medical Center remains our core Memorial Hermann hospital, we also work closely with Children’s Memorial Hermann Hospital, TIRR Memorial Hermann, Memorial Hermann-Southwest, Memorial Hermann-Sugar Land, Memorial Hermann-Katy, Memorial Hermann-Memorial City, Memorial Hermann-Woodlands, Memorial Hermann-Greater Heights, Memorial Hermann-Cypress, Memorial Hermann-Southeast, Memorial Hermann-Pearland, and Memorial Hermann Orthopedic and Spine Hospital. On Sept. 1, we welcomed the new president and CEO of Memorial Hermann Health System, Dr. David Callender. Dr. Callender brings a wealth of experience and knowledge to the position. We are so delighted he is here. Hot off the press — we are proud to once again be in the top 10% of Vizient rankings. Congratulations to Dr. Bela Patel and her team for shepherding the Vizient quality process. Thanks to all of our faculty, staff, residents and fellows who work hard every day to make Memorial Hermann a place of expert care.
The Harris County Psychiatric Center opened its doors as a joint state and county psychiatric hospital in 1986. Providing patient care, research, education, and community service in a unique collaborative model, the hospital is staffed and managed by our Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences and includes both inpatient and outpatient services. Thanks to our Legislature and other community supporters, we are building another hospital adjacent to the current facility. This new UTHealth Continuum of Care Campus for Behavioral Health will add 240 beds, making HCPC the largest academic psychiatric facility in the nation. This joint project of the Texas State Health and Human Services Commission and UTHealth will provide much-needed resources to our community. We are grateful for the wonderful partnership with Steve Glazier, chief operating officer of HCPC. I am proud of the work of our faculty, staff, and trainees at HCPC who help a patient population in need of care that is traditionally underserved.
LBJ General Hospital joined our clinical operations in 1990 when the hospital transitioned from an obstetric to a general hospital. Today, this Harris Health safety-net hospital has one of the busiest Level III trauma centers and the busiest emergency center in Houston, caring for approximately 90,000 ED patients in 2018. A 207-licensed bed acute care hospital, LBJ is home to our amazingly dedicated faculty, staff, and trainees. A primary focus of LBJ has been on patient safety and quality outcomes using Vizient data. It is a pleasure to work with Patricia Darnauer, the hospital’s new executive vice president and administrator. A retired colonel of the U.S. Army Medical Service Corps, she brings not only experience, but calm under pressure to her position and is a great partner to McGovern Medical School. Together with our UTHealth and LBJ staff, she is putting patient quality and safety first.
A medical school does not operate in a vacuum. We rely upon many partners and are proud to have these primary hospital partners to work alongside with and serve. Please join me in thanking those who work every day to care for a broad and complex patient population—at MH, HCPC and LBJ.