LUBBOCK – Three Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center experts were appointed to the White House Conference on Aging. Rodolfo Arredondo Jr., Ed.D., professor of the Department of Neuropsychiatry and director of the Southwest Institute for Addictive Diseases, was named by President George W. Bush to the Advisory Committee to the White House Conference on Aging.

Glen Provost, chief planning and program development officer at the Health Sciences Center, was nominated as a delegate to the White House Conference on Aging by U.S. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison. Barbara Johnston, Ph.D., associate academic dean at the Health Sciences Center School of Nursing, also was named as an alternate delegate to the conference. Johnston was appointed by U.S. Sen. John Cornyn.

The advisory committee’s responsibilities include planning the conference and developing a report that will outline a set of recommendations to address the needs of aging Americans. Arredondo is the only Texas appointee named to the advisory committee by President Bush.

Randolph B. Schiffer, M.D., chair of the Department of Neuropsychiatry at the Health Sciences Center School of Medicine, said this presidential appointment reflects the excellence of the Health Sciences Center faculty. “This reaffirms our confidence in Dr. Arredondo’s academic leadership and furthermore recognizes his expertise in national policy issues affecting aging and mental health,” Schiffer said.

Arredondo received his doctorate from Texas Tech University. He serves on the National Institutes of Health National Advisory Council on Drug Abuse and was chairman of the Texas Department of Mental Health and Mental Retardation Board of Directors.

In 2002, President George W. Bush appointed Arredondo to serve on the President’s New Freedom Commission on Mental Health, where he co-chairs the co-occurring disorders subcommittee. The commission was charged to study the national mental health system and make recommendations for improvement.

In January 2005, Arredondo also was appointed as the Presiding Officer of the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS).

Provost serves as the director of the Health Sciences Center Aging Law and Policy Program, chair of the Garrison Institute on Aging Advisory Board and is adjunct professor of elder law at Texas Tech School of Law. He previously worked as the director and associate commissioner for Environmental and Consumer Health at the Texas Department of Health and as the assistant director for Planning and Legislation at the National Center for Environmental Health at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

He serves on the American Society on Aging, the National Council on Aging, the American Public Health Association Gerontological Health Section and the Texas Department of Aging and Disability Services.

Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center President M. Roy Wilson, M.D., M.S., said appointments such as these are an honor for Arredondo, Provost, Johnston and our community. “We are proud and excited for these individuals for their commitment and recognition on this national level. They have demonstrated outstanding leadership in improving the delivery of health care not only to this community but also throughout Texas and the United States.”

In 2000, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center leadership identified aging as a strategic priority for the 21st century and the Board of Regents approved the establishment of the Institute for Healthy Aging (IHA). The IHA, renamed as the Garrison Institute on Aging in February 2005, is a collaborative initiative of the Health Science Center schools of Allied Health Sciences, Medicine, Nursing and Pharmacy and addresses special challenges in geriatric training and health care.

The Garrison Institute is dedicated to the development, implementation, and monitoring of programs and research that probe the health and diseases of aging.