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SHSU Considers Options For Health Sciences Campus

Nov. 3, 2014
SHSU Media Contact: Julia May

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“After evaluating and analyzing the critical need for highly-skilled health professionals in the region, and working with consultants to determine the feasibility for such a program, Sam Houston State University is exploring the development of a Health Sciences Campus in Montgomery County,” said SHSU President Dana G. Hoyt.

“The campus will be the site of an integrated academic facility to house those programs which will be dedicated to the education of primary health care and population health professionals,” she said.

“As the population of Montgomery County is projected to increase dramatically in the near future, and the health programs at Sam Houston State University have grown to meet the workforce demands of the state and area, we feel that the timing is right and that we will be offering the programs in a strategic way to benefit the region we serve,” she said.

To move forward, the university will need all necessary approvals from the Texas State University System Board of Regents and the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board. Construction of a facility is contingent upon the university having all funding in place, which is expected to come from private sources and community partnerships.

In addition to the degree programs in primary care, a School of Osteopathic Medicine is under consideration.

Doctors with Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine degrees are much more likely to go into primary care and focus on preventative health and wellness, which is part of the university’s goal in the region, according to Michael Lacourse, dean of the SHSU College of Health Sciences.

“Most practical differences between D.O.s and M.D.s have been eliminated over the years as D.Os have gained popularity,” said Lacourse.

“We are mindful of rural health care,” he said, “and we are focused on trying to provide increased access to care in rural areas.”

Portions of the Montgomery/North Harris Counties have been designated a medically-underserved areas. According to recent data, the region will need more than 5,700 primary care physicians and 15,000 nurses by 2025.

No time designation has been identified for the completion of the project.



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