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Friday, February 6, 2009

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UT System Regents' Task Force to Hear Public Comments in Galveston Feb. 20

AUSTIN – A special task force of The University of Texas System Board of Regents will hear public comments on Friday, Feb. 20 on the findings of a consultant’s report regarding the redevelopment of the clinical operations of The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston. 

The meeting will take place in Galveston at the Moody Gardens Convention Center, Floral Ballroom, located at Seven Hope Boulevard. Parking will be available at the convention center. Additional information about the meeting will be made available to the public next week.

The task force was appointed by UT System Board of Regents Chairman H. Scott Caven Jr., who named Regents’ Vice Chairman James R. Huffines of Austin, Regent Colleen McHugh of Corpus Christi and Regent Janiece Longoria of Houston to the panel. The task force meeting will provide an opportunity for the public to comment on the report. Kurt Salmon Associates, a nationally-recognized healthcare consulting firm, was hired last November to conduct market, facility and financial analyses of UTMB clinical operations. 

The firm was charged with making recommendations for a successful clinical model as the institution continues to recover from the devastation caused by Hurricane Ike.

The consultants will present their findings at a meeting of the Board of Regents on Feb. 11 in Austin. The report will be made available to the public via the UT System Web site following a presentation to the Regents in preparation for the public meeting on Feb. 20.

“The Board of Regents looks forward to reviewing the recommendations developed by Kurt Salmon Associates and invites the public to comment as all options are considered for how best to configure UTMB’s clinical activities for future success,” Caven said. 

UTMB continues to make tremendous progress in its recovery from Hurricane Ike. Classes for UTMB’s schools of medicine, nursing, health professions and graduate biomedical sciences resumed within two to five weeks; medical residents were provided alternative training sites within two weeks of the storm; and 85 health professions degrees were awarded in December. UTMB’s Galveston National Laboratory — Texas’ first national lab — had negligible damage and was dedicated Nov. 11. Research facilities above the first floor are 95 percent restored and the university has secured $26 million in new research funding since the storm.

All four schools are recruiting students for next year, planning for their 2009 commencements, and celebrating the 10-year reaffirmation of accreditation announced by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools in December. 

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