Community partnerships among health care providers are important in a reformed health care environment for a number of reasons. Some of the most common goals include creating better access to care, improving overall health of the community, and reducing health disparities.

UTMB’s partnership with the UTMB Health Angleton Danbury Campus creates mutual efficiencies that position both organizations for a successful future, achieves a greater level of service in our communities by offering access to a vast network of primary, specialty and chronic care services, and offers better access to tertiary care facilities such as UTMB’s John Sealy Hospital and Jennie Sealy Hospital (opening Spring 2016).

However, one of the most important purposes behind the partnership is something special, and it is helping to accomplish an important goal for the State of Texas.

In 2010, during the 82nd Texas Legislative Session, the state asked academic medical centers like UTMB to begin developing plans to increase student enrollment of doctors, nurses and other health care workers to help meet critical shortages in the state. Such efforts would be crucial to help keep up with a rapidly growing population—Texas has been the fastest growing state in the nation for the past two decades. It would also help improve the overall ratio of health care workers per capita—for example, Texas ranks 42nd out of 50 states in the ratio of physicians to people.

In response, UTMB’s Academic Enterprise immediately began devising a strategic plan to attract a greater number of students to help meet the dire need in Texas and the nation for more health care providers and scientists. The long-term plan aims to achieve the following by 2020:

  • 100% increase in enrollment in the School of Nursing
  • 100% increase in enrollment in the School of Health Professions
  • 25% increase in enrollment in the School of Medicine
  • 25% increase in enrollment in the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences

 To meet these goals, many resources would be needed, such as increased space for teaching and labs, and clinical training facilities for student and resident programs.

The partnership with Angleton Danbury is helping to meet these very needs. Joining forces will create new residency training opportunities in primary care, obstetrics and gynecology (OB/GYN), and internal medicine—all in a community hospital environment. The site also will provide additional clinical training opportunities for medical, nursing, and health profession students as enrollments increase.

Another important benefit of the partnership will be increased access to clinical research trials for patients in the community. Clinical trials help bring patients the latest and most innovative treatments, which are fundamental to the development of groundbreaking medicines, vaccines and devices to treat and prevent illness. Trials also often offer the best chance of curing many diseases.

UTMB Health and the Angleton Danbury Campus look forward to a bright future as we grow our programs to bring the best health care to the Greater Angleton area, the hospital district and surrounding communities as we move forward into the future. As a statewide leader in training the future’s physicians, nurses and allied health professionals, UTMB views this new relationship as vital to our educational mission and to the future health of Texans.