The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston mission statement is as follows:
The mission of The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston is to provide scholarly teaching, innovative scientific investigation, and state-of-the-art patient care in a learning environment to better the health of society.
A set of core values derived from this mission statement includes two values specifically related to continuing education, outreach and service programs:
UTMBís education programs enable the stateís talented individuals to become outstanding practitioners, teachers, and investigators in the health care sciences, thereby meeting the needs of the people of Texas and its national and international neighbors.
UTMBís comprehensive primary, specialty, and sub-specialty care clinical programs support the educational mission and are committed to the health and well-being of all Texans through the delivery of state-of-the-art preventive, diagnostic, and treatment services.
UTMBís research programs are committed to the discovery of new innovative biomedical and health services knowledge leading to increasingly effective and accessible health care for the citizens of Texas (1).
We are committed to life-long learning for our students, staff, faculty and community, and
We are committed to making our community a better place to live and work (1).
Following are several examples of how UTMB continuing education, community outreach, and service programs are consistent with the institutionís mission and core values.
Continuing Medical Education The Office of Continuing Medical Education (CME) has been continuously accredited since 1972 by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME). The programís most recent accreditation, for four years, was awarded in 2004. The Office of CME supports a variety of different educational experiences, including conferences, grand rounds, community-hospital-based presentations, single events, enduring materials, and web-based programs and offers continuing medical education credits to both physicians and physicianís assistants. The most recent annual report to ACCME for calendar year 2006 reflected 97 educational activities, 1,933 instructional hours, and 7,496 participants (2).
In 2005, UTMB CME and the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston inaugurated a collaborative program, UTcme, with offices in Houston and Galveston (3). UTMB CME oversees all continuing medical education activities offered by UTcme. The UTcme is now one of the largest providers of continuing medical education in Texas, with 30 large conferences each year and a database of more than 10,000 physicians from across the United States and abroad.
Continuing Nursing Education The School of Nursing offers on-line courses on recognizing and responding to bioterrorism and other public health emergencies. The course includes topics such as providing patient care, decontamination, personal protection, and isolation precautions (4). The Global Online Learning Community (GOLC) was developed by the UTMB School of Nursing in partnership with the World Health Organization Collaborating Center for Nursing and Midwifery Development in Primary Health Care. The GOLC offers a course about working with communities as a partner in an up-to-date, interesting, and interactive format (5). The SON is also associated with the Online Geriatric Education Series that addresses the needs of healthcare workers who serve the elderly (6).
Continuing Education, School of Allied Health Sciences The School of Allied Health Sciences (SAHS) Strategic Plan includes a strategy for establishing a mechanism for a sustained and effective continuing education presence at the school (7). Currently the Department of Clinical Laboratory Services at SAHS provides opportunities for American Society of Clinical Laboratory Science (ASCLS) P.A.C.E. continuing education credits for laboratory technicians with an associated degree as an MLT or a baccalaureate degree as an MT and who meet specified prerequisite requirements (8).
In 1999, the Office of Community Outreach (OCO) was established at the Vice President level in order to bring a fourth leg (community outreach) to the traditional three-legged academic health science center configuration (clinical, education, and research). Originally, the Vice President for Community Outreach coordinated the activities of a wide range of programs and services designed to promote good health among populations in communities exterior to UTMB, primarily through health education, partnerships, and information sharing. In 2005, OCO served over 93,000 people in its community outreach activities associated with community health education, healthcare workforce promotion and support, and professional education (9).
In 2006, the OCO was reorganized as UTMB Community Health Services (CHS). CHS is comprised of the Community Health Network, a health care program for the uninsured and under-insured, Correctional Managed Care and its related services, and the Division of Community Outreach, a major component of the OCO, along with its already established community-focused programs (10).
University Student Services (USS) is committed to supporting studentsí academic success through a holistic learning experience that nurtures studentsí altruistic goals of service and promotes student involvement and leadership in the community through intentional opportunities, comprehensive services, and relevant educational programs. The Office of Student Life, a department of USS, collaborates with students and the UTMB community to implement programs and activities that support studentsí involvement on campus and in their community. There are over 60 active student organizations at UTMB, the majority of them professional- and discipline-specific. Others, however, reflect cultural, service, religious, social, or other special interests. Each year these organizations organize hundreds of projects for the campus and the Galveston community. Frontera de Salud, for example, is a student organization that addresses community health issues by delivering primary care to border communities in South Texas with student volunteers (11). The Free Clinic at St. Vincent's House is Galveston is another long-standing student organization run by student volunteers that provides health care to underserved and uninsured patients in the cityís poorest neighborhood. Both organizations work closely under the supervision of faculty and other health care providers (12).