I’ve been encouraged by the feedback on the announcement that Huston-Tillotson University and the Dell Medical School are teaming up to create a new clinic to improve access to health services in East Austin.
Community support is vital to the success of this collaboration, and to the Medical School, so I want to share some of the community comments since our joint press conference:
To Larry Dietz of New Braunfels, who contributed a Letter to the Editor in the Austin American-Statesman. Here’s an excerpt:
Kudos are in order any time when leaders entrusted with major responsibilities practice good stewardship that moves positively into the future. That is true as steps move forward to link with young people of the community in a partnership between historic Huston-Tillotson and the new Dell Medical School. This would not be possible without the impressive personal wisdom reflected in the recent work of Larry Earvin and Dr. Clay Johnston.
How timely in a period of struggle to get beyond the social and racial tensions of our national heritage, forging a finer way forward. The young lives this partnership will touch will be a gift for many long into the future.
Mr. Dietz, thank you for your kind words. It is a privilege for our team to be working with our partners at Huston-Tillotson, under Dr. Earvin’s strong leadership, to strengthen the bond between our universities. We hope that the collaboration will generate more acclaim when its impact is realized.
To Christle, the student who expressed her thoughts on the partnership via Twitter:
As a student focused on the social construct of health, seeing partnerships like #HTUThealth is exciting + inspiring.
— dr. kimberly reese (@christleandgold) February 19, 2015
Christle, it’s great to hear from students interested in improving the social construct of health, a major determinant of health that eclipses traditional medical care. Glad you are out there working with us on these important problems.
Dr. Earvin and I also teamed up to write an op-ed in the Austin American-Statesman in order to highlight some of the special features and promise of the partnership. Here’s an excerpt:
Huston-Tillotson University and the University of Texas have grown up with Austin, and both have played vital roles in our city’s story.
This project is unprecedented for each of our institutions. For Huston-Tillotson, it offers a unique chance to scale up health services that our community needs. And it marks a big step forward in the Dell Medical School’s efforts to help all Travis County residents get and stay healthy.
This collaboration will give HT and UT students more opportunities to learn and grow, and it will allow our universities to work with our community to develop new, culturally appropriate models of care. The Community Health and Wellness Center also will help relieve the strain on Travis County’s mental health resources, adding treatment options and services that residents and taxpayers need…
Again, a big thank you to the Austin community for embracing this endeavor. I’m optimistic that it will make tangible progress in our efforts to improve health throughout the region and reduce disparities, and I hope it will also inspire many more such collaborations.