UH Joins Texas Medical Center

The University of Houston is the newest member of the Texas Medical Center. It joins 47 other institutions as part of the largest medical center in the world. TMC officials say they are impressed by the university's commitment to the health sciences. Laurie Johnson has more.

The Texas Medical Center only grants membership to not for profit or governmental organizations with a clear focus in life science or healthcare areas.

TMC Senior Vice President John Kajander says UH President Dr. Renu Khator requested the membership earlier this year. The TMC board reviewed the application and found that more than half of UH's research awards and grants are health-related.

"We're really delighted because we think it's going to give them additional impetus and ability to create partnerships. We conduct close to a billion dollars worth of research here on the medical center campus amongst our 47 member institutions. And we also have 33,000 students at a number of, I think 12 or 13 educational institutions, so there's incredible opportunities for partnerships in patient care and education and in research."

Kajander says not every organization that requests membership is accepted. Over the past five years, three organizations have been admitted to the TMC.

"We really want to make sure that they're serious, that they see there's value in being associated with the medical center and in working with our institutions, that it creates win-win situations. So those are really a number of things that our board looks at in order to make sure that the fit is right."

The partnership fits in with the university's overarching goal of gaining Tier 1 status. It's also in line with the UH Health Initiative, which calls for construction of a 167,000-square-foot Health and Biomedical Sciences Center — considered by many to be the precursor to a UH medical school.

Laurie Johnson. KUHF-Houston Public Radio News.


Bio photo of Laurie Johnson

Laurie Johnson

Local Host, All Things Considered

Laurie Johnson is the Houston host for All Things Considered at KUHF NPR for Houston. Before taking the anchor chair, she worked as a general assignments reporter at KUHF, starting there as an intern in 2002...