UT Health Science Center: Shaping the Future of Health Care Since 1911

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Editor’s Note: UTHSC had the chance to tell our story in the Aug. 29 edition of The Commercial Appeal. We are reprinting the story, along with the accompanying ad and our new campus video, all of which  spotlight the great things happening at UTHSC. 

The University of Tennessee Health Science Center (UTHSC) is deeply rooted in Memphis, but its reach increasingly extends across Tennessee and beyond.

UTHSC educates more than 3,000 students each year, is responsible for 26,700 jobs across Tennessee, and contributes $2.7 billion annually to the state’s economy. Since its founding in 1911, it has educated and trained more than 57,000 health care professionals.

However, the institution that has shaped the future of health care in Memphis and Tennessee for more than a century is undergoing a transformation.

With record enrollment in many programs, expanded academic and training locations, new and innovative curriculum, additional clinical partnerships, increased research activities and unprecedented construction, UTHSC is aggressively raising its stature as a health care educator, provider and innovator on the local, state, national and global stage.

“We think we’re in the best position we’ve ever been in,” said UTHSC’s Chancellor Steve J. Schwab, MD.

Dedicated to combating the diseases that plague our community, UTHSC is focusing efforts on stroke, cancer, diabetes, hypertension, obesity, addiction and mental illness. UTHSC is also working to end disparities in health care diagnosis and delivery.

New initiatives include:

  • The UT Mobile Stroke Unit, the world’s most comprehensive stroke ambulance designed to reduce time to treatment and improve patient outcomes
  • The Center for Health in Justice-Involved Youth to address mental health issues of young people to keep them out of the juvenile justice system
  • The Center for Addiction Science to battle the epidemic of addiction in our community
  • The Rachel Kay Stevens Therapy Center, the only student-run pro bono pediatric occupational therapy clinic in the country
  • Dental clinics for the uninsured or underinsured spanning the state from Bristol to Union City and Memphis

UTHSC’s main campus in Memphis is home to six health science colleges — Dentistry, Graduate Health Sciences, Health Professions, Medicine, Nursing and Pharmacy. Clinical campuses in Knoxville at the University of Tennessee Medical Center, Chattanooga at Erlanger Health System and Nashville at Saint Thomas Health, as well as at more than 100 clinical and academic sites across Tennessee, are extending the instructional reach.

A $36.7 million Interprofessional Simulation and Patient Safety Center, opening in 2017 in Memphis, will be one of the few buildings in the country designed specifically for training in simulation settings to prepare students from various health care fields to provide team-based patient care, the model for quality care delivery.

UTHSC is the hub of the Memphis Medical District. Clinical practices at partner teaching hospitals, including Methodist UT Hospital, Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital, Regional One Health and the Memphis VA Medical Center, allow hundreds of UTHSC-affiliated physicians, nurses, pharmacists and other health professionals to provide cutting-edge care to patients, and to train the next generation of health care providers. UTHSC also has teaching, clinical and research relationships with Baptist Memorial Health Care, Saint Francis Hospital, West Cancer Center and St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, where most of the research scientists have UTHSC faculty appointments.

UTHSC Transforming Ad for MM City Guide Cropped
Our new advertising campaign focuses on UTHSC’s four-fold mission.

With a goal of becoming a destination medical center, and to ensure that no Mid-Southerner has to leave home to get the best care, UTHSC is successfully recruiting health care leaders in various clinical specialties to come to Memphis. UTHSC is also enhancing established nationally ranked programs, including its world-class transplant program.

A collaboration with West Clinic and Methodist Healthcare formed the UT-West Cancer Center, bringing comprehensive adult cancer care, education and research to benefit the city, state and region.

The new $16 million Plough Center for Sterile Drug Delivery Systems to be finished on campus later this year will move UTHSC into the global pharmaceutical marketplace with the manufacture of small-batch and orphan drugs.

A backbone of every great academic health care institution, research funding is on the rise at UTHSC, with $93 million in grant awards in 2015. New state-of-the-art buildings, including a $49 million Translational Science Research Building and a $25.2 million Cancer Research Building, are drawing world-class researchers and the money to fund their work to Memphis.

Fulfilling UTHSC’s mission of community service, students, faculty and staff each year donate hundreds of hours at health fairs, fund-raisers and special events.

“We think we’ve got a great story to tell,” Chancellor Schwab said.