World Class Rural Health Institute to Open at Texas Tech University Health Sciences
March 3, 2006
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Feb. 27, 2006
CONTACT: Suzanna Cisneros Martinez, firstname.lastname@example.org
LUBBOCK – Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center announced today the establishment
of the F. Marie Hall Institute for Rural Health, which will be a world- class initiative
to study health care issues and challenges in rural areas.
The new institute will build upon the current rural health projects and resources
of the Health Sciences Center, adding new components such as student service learning,
community-based research and a visiting scholars program.
While the Health Sciences Center has long been recognized as a leader in rural health
issues, the creation of the Institute for Rural Health will elevate the institution’s
profile to a national and international level.
Funding for new programs associated with the institute is through a gift from F. Marie
Hall of Big Spring. Ms. Hall, a supporter of the Health Sciences Center, has provided
several previous substantial gifts including funding for a recreational center for
students and a chairperson position dedicated to rural health.
Patti Patterson, M.D., vice president of Rural and Community Health, will serve as
the first director of the newly created institute. According to Patterson, some of
the greatest rural health challenges in the country are here in West Texas.
“Texas Tech is perfectly situated to study these issues and develop real world workable
solutions,” Patterson said. “This new institute will allow us to do so.”
The student service learning component of the new institute will promote and encourage
students to add community service to their academic pursuits. Patterson said this
effort will produce more community-minded health professionals and better prepare
them for a successful career in a rural setting.
Community-based research, education and service projects also will be a component
of the new institute which will serve to foster better communications and interaction
between the world of health academia and rural communities of West Texas. Research
projects will focus on what directly impacts citizens and their communities.
Another component will be the visiting scholars program, which will bring in accomplished
academic professionals with rural health experiences from other parts of the country
and world. Their collective expertise focused on West Texas issues can assist in developing
better solutions to rural health challenges.
M. Roy Wilson, M.D., M.S., president of the Health Sciences Center, said while the
institution has tremendous resources, the help and support of visionaries such as
Marie Hall will give the Health Sciences Center a boost to the next level.
“Ms. Hall has a true insider view about rural health issues in West Texas. Her father
was a rural West Texas physician,” Wilson said. “We are pleased that her vision and
support have lead to the creation of this new institute.”
Ms. Hall said it honors her to know that this institute will provide vision and compassion
needed to inspire future healers for rural areas.
“It gives me great joy to have the opportunity to help establish this institute,”
Ms. Hall said. “Under the leadership of Dr. David Smith, former Texas Tech chancellor
and former president of the Health Sciences Center, along with Dr. Patti Patterson,
Texas Tech has made rural health issues a priority. I am very grateful that I can
ensure the priority remains strong.”