Top Research, Expertise Lead Way for Texas Health Care

Texas has world-class research and teaching hospitals that are creating innovations in care and treatment.

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On Tuesday, September 25, 2012 - 12:41
  Whether it’s establishing new frontiers in the treatment of cancer, collaborating with Chinese physicians to improve eye care or maintaining the world’s largest collection of mouse genes, the health-care industry in Texas is upholding its reputation as a world leader in the field. In just about any section of the state, remarkable progress is being made in research, education, treatments and procedures. Hospitals, institutions and academic centers are continuously making strides to improve health care on a global scale.   Delivering Special Care They are now doing it one baby at a time at Texas Children’s Hospital in Houston, a teaching hospital for Baylor College of Medicine that opened in 1953. Already recognized as a national leader in providing high-risk maternal care and diagnosing and treating abnormalities in unborn and newborn infants, Texas Children’s enhanced its reputation with completion of a 15-story, $575 million Pavilion for Women. The 1.3-million-square-foot Pavilion facility opened for outpatient services in November 2011 and delivered its first baby six months later. “We know that the Pavilion’s combination of world-class expertise, leading-edge technology and best practices in family-centered care will result in better outcomes for mothers and babies,” says Cris Daskevich, senior vice president for the hospital. “The Pavilion is staffed and equipped to provide in-utero procedures and treatments available in very few places in the world.” The Texas Children’s Maternal and Fetal Center housed at the Pavillion is one of just a handful of hospitals in the world to offer this full spectrum of maternal and fetal medicine. Comprehensive services include management of complex pregnancies, genetic counseling and fetal diagnostic procedures. In addition, the Fetal Center provides highly specialized fetal surgeries for a number of congenital malformations. Texas Medical Center Texas Children's is one of 52 institutions of the Houston-based Texas Medical Center, a colossus in health-care research and delivery that conducts more than $1.2 billion in research annually. With more than 34,500 full-time medical students and 92,500 employees, Texas Medical Center treats more than 7.1 million patients each year, including 16,000 from outside the United States. It is a global research leader, drawing some 7,000 visiting scientists, researchers and students to its 1,300-acre campus. Texas Medical Center hospitals have been at the leading edge of the advancing field of health care known as personalized medicine in which treatment is informed by each patient's unique clinical, genetic, genomic and environmental information. The Institute for Personalized Cancer Therapy at the renowned MD Anderson Cancer Center, for example, supports research and clinical trials in which a patient’s tumor biopsy is analyzed for abnormal genes and therapies are selected utilizing agents that target the product of those particular abnormal genes. Focus on Learning Top-level health-care research and treatment extends well beyond Houston. In College Station, the Texas A&M Institute for Genomic Medicine (TIGM) has grown in a short time to become the world’s largest library of mouse knockout embryonic stem cells. The 34,000-square-foot facility opened on the Texas A&M campus in August 2010, and it has already worked with more than 400 institutions in 26 countries. “I’m very proud of what we’re doing,” says Dr. Ben Morpurgo, executive director of TIGM. “I think we serve the (genome) community very well.” Scott & White Healthcare, established in Temple in 1897, is also a leading institution in Texas, encompassing one of the nation's largest multispecialty group practices. Through research and education, it is known for its advances in cancer, orthopedics, neuroscience, pediatrics and cardiovascular care. And in one particular case, it is learning more about modern treatment methods by studying ancient uses of medicine. Dr. Robert Rosa, vice chair of research for the Department of Ophthalmology at the Scott & White Eye Institute, has collaborated with the Eye Hospital of the China Academy of Chinese Medical Sciences in Beijing in research, education and long-distance clinical consultation. Rosa hopes to learn more about using traditional Chinese medicine (including acupuncture and herbal mixtures) in the treatment of diseases of the eye and to teach Western opthalmic techniques to visiting Chinese physicians. “Our research collaborations reach throughout the state of Texas, across the nation and around the world,” says Charlette Stallworth, Scott & White’s associate vice president for business development.