August 04, 2016
Today I am at a retreat for the deans of the schools of UTHealth. I am delighted to give an update on McGovern Medical School to my colleagues to let them know all of the great things this school is accomplishing on the education, research, and patient care fronts. We are fortunate to have a wise group of deans. I am looking forward to receiving their feedback on our school. Together I hope we will consider ideas for strengthening collaborations among the six schools as a result of this retreat.
A highlight of last week was my visit to the Thomas Street Clinic with Dr. Roberto Arduino, professor of internal medicine. I learned a lot about the amazing people and work being done at this facility, which is exclusively dedicated to HIV care in Houston.
Harris Health’s Thomas Street Health Center is staffed by physicians from UTHealth and Baylor College of Medicine, providing care to about 6,000 HIV-infected patients. In addition to primary HIV care for adolescents and adults, physicians provide specialized care in gynecology, oncology, psychiatry, endocrinology, rheumatology, pain management, and dermatology. There are on-site ancillary services, including a pharmacy and laboratories, as well as a social services department to help with transportation, housing, and home health care.
Dr. Arduino leads the Houston AIDS Research Team (HART), based at McGovern Medical School, which participates in NIH-sponsored HIV/AIDS trials at the Thomas Street Clinic. Since 1998, HART has successfully implemented over 190 NIH-funded, industry-sponsored, and investigator-driven protocols. More than 4,500 patients have participated in novel clinical trials and research studies, including exploring a nanochannel delivery system for antiretroviral drugs.
Looking toward the future, the clinic has trained 25 fellows in HIV Medicine. They represent the next generation of professionals actively involved in this specialized field of medicine. Hopefully during their careers, better prevention strategies for HIV and curative therapies will be developed.
I am so proud to see McGovern faculty, staff, and trainees making a difference in our patients’ lives. Their work reminds me of the quote by Theodore Roosevelt, “Far and away the best prize that life has to offer is the chance to work hard at work worth doing.”
Have a great weekend,