UNT HSC Working for a Healthier North Texas
Now in its 51st year, the University of North Texas Health Science Center at Fort Worth (HSC) is one of the nation’s premier graduate academic medical centers, with six schools that specialize in patient-centered education, research and health care. HSC impacts community health through groundbreaking research, education and clinical initiatives. Beginning with the Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine in 1970, the center has expanded to include programs such as biomedical sciences, public health, pharmacy, medicine and health services as one of the nation’s premier graduate academic medical centers.
Research is a key focus area for HSC. The center’s internationally recognized researchers are exploring new approaches to the treatment of Alzheimer’s Disease, primary care and prevention, and investigative genetics. Researchers work together to support and serve all HSC faculty, staff and students with the overall mission of making meaningful advancements in global healthcare. In 1990, researchers at HSC created a DNA Identity Lab to reduce the backlog of paternity cases pending in state courts. Since 1992, researchers and clinicians in the field of visual science and ophthalmology have increased awareness about disease development, especially among ethnic and minority populations with debilitating vision disorders and health disparities.
Today, HSC’s research in preventative care is driving improvement in areas such as diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, cancer, stroke and HIV. Currently, researchers are formulating a blood test to predict older adults’ risk for Alzheimer’s disease, while identifying how to treat and prevent the disease. They are also uncovering ways to deliver chemotherapy directly to a tumor with fewer side effects for patients through the science of nanoparticles.
HSC is also dedicated to training tomorrow’s health care providers. Since 2002, U.S. News & World Report has named the Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine at UNT HSC as one of the nation’s top 50 medical primary care schools. And as of April 2021, was named the number two Osteopathic medical school in the nation Physicians and other health professionals train and practice interprofessionally – a HSC core competency – for the benefit of patients and their families around a team care model. Professors go above and beyond to teach students how to consider all factors contributing to overall health, including mental illness, wealth disparity and more. In 2019, the first class of medical school students entered the TCU and UNTHSC School of Medicine to train in a redefined model of medical education that puts patients at the center of all they do in the students’ roles as empathetic scholars.
During the pandemic, HSC has served as a leader in COVID-19 research, testing and discovery. During the early months, the center operated testing sites for thousands of residents, tracked reported cases in Tarrant County, raised relief money and donated funds, and offered free child care to people on the front lines. Today, HSC is leading the way with Tarrant County to ensure all populations, including those in medically underserved communities, have access to COVID-19 vaccinations.