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University of North Texas Health Science Center at Fort Worth
UNT Health Science Center seal.png
Established 1970
Type Public
President Scott Ransom, D.O., M.B.A., M.P.H
Students 1,046
Location Fort Worth, Texas, USA
Campus Urban
Endowment $5.14 million
Website www.hsc.unt.edu

The University of North Texas Health Science Center is a graduate academic health science center dedicated to education, research, patient care and service. It is composed of the Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine (TCOM; the state's only osteopathic medical school), the Department of Physician Assistant Studies, the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, the School of Public Health and the School of Health Professions. UNT Health is the TCOM faculty practice program providing direct patient care.

A 33-acre, $125 million campus located in Fort Worth’s Cultural District, the Health Science Center has a $135 million annual budget and adds approximately $500 million into Fort Worth’s economy annually. It has a combined faculty of 328, a staff of 1,150 and 540 part-time and adjunct faculty from other institutions and the community.

The Health Science Center began when TCOM accepted its first students in 1970. The first class of doctors of osteopathic medicine graduated in 1974. Roughly 65 percent of the more than 2,900 physicians it has trained practice primary care, such as family medicine, internal medicine, obstetrics/gynecology and pediatrics. Other graduates have chosen specialties from aerospace medicine to heart transplant surgery.

In 1997, the first students matriculated into TCOM’s Physician Assistant Studies Program. The school has graduated 138 physician assistants through the class of 2006. In 2007, the UNT Board of Regents voted to designate the program, making it its own department – the Department of Physician Assistant Studies.

With the establishment of the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences in 1993, the name of the institution was changed to the University of North Texas Health Science Center at Fort Worth. Since 1993, the organization has broadened its reach in education, research, patient care and service.

The School of Public Health was established in 1997. In 1999, UNT Health Science Center became a part of the University of North Texas System, and the School of Health Professions was added in 2004.

The Health Science Center is home to the Gibson D. Lewis Health Science Library, which supports the educational, patient care, research, and community service missions of the Health Science Center through a variety of in-person and online services. Featuring the latest information technology, the spacious and attractive library building provides the physical and intellectual resources needed for study, instruction, and research. All UNTHSC faculty and students receive a full complement of library services, including borrowing privileges, use of individual and group study areas, photocopying, document delivery/interlibrary loan, expert instruction in the use of information resources, and access to professionally trained librarians for reference and search assistance. Book and journal literature not owned by the library may be obtained through interlibrary loan from many sources, stemming from the library’s participation in the National Network of Libraries of Medicine (NNLM), the South Central Academic Medical Libraries Consortium (SCAMEL), TexShare, and the UNT System.

In keeping with its location in Fort Worth’s Cultural District, the campus also boasts several public art gallery areas.

Faculty members of TCOM constitute UNT Health, one of Tarrant County’s largest multi-specialty medical group practices. In 2005, the group doubled in size to 160-plus doctors with the addition of the North Texas Medical Group physicians to its faculty. This expansion brought roughly more than a half million patient visits to UNT physicians for everything from lab work and pre-natal visits to geriatric care.

In keeping with its commitment to research, the Health Science Center has created several institutes and centers for discovery — the Institute for Aging, Alzheimer's Disease Research; the Institute for Cancer Research; the Cardiovascular Research Institute; the North Texas Eye Research Institute; the Physical Medicine Institute; Osteopathic Research Center; Institute for Public Health Research; Texas Institute for Hispanic Health; The Center for Women's Health; Center for Human Identification; and Texas Center for Minority Health, Education, Research and Outreach.

The UNT Center for Human Identification’s DNA database is housed at the Health Science Center, and it is the only academic DNA lab in the United States dedicated to identifying the remains of missing persons. The DNA database receives federal funding to analyze DNA samples from both unidentified remains as well as reference samples submitted by family members of missing persons to law enforcement agencies nationwide.

The Health Science Center also serves as home to several National Institutes of Health-funded programs, including the Texas Center for Health Disparities Research. The Health Science Center had a 60.17 percent growth in research funding over a four-year period — the highest of all the health science centers in Texas. For 2006, the Health Science Center came in at 194.75 percent in its federal-to-state-funding ratio.

Through the Office of Clinical Trials, faculty physicians participate in some 20 clinical research projects, seeking improved treatments for such disorders as high blood pressure, migraine, ulcers, arthritis and diabetes.

The Health Science Center also is an active collaborator with TECH Fort Worth, a business incubator designed to create alliances between innovators in the biotechnology field and businesses and investors who can help not only bring the research brought to them to fruition, but also provide valuable economic development opportunities to Fort Worth.

The Health Science Center proudly serves the community through a variety of community and school outreach programs. For example, the Health Science Center founded the annual Hispanic Wellness Fair in 1999, which provided free health screenings and information to more than 16,000 people in 2006, and the annual Cowtown Marathon. The Health Science Center also serves as medical partner for the D/FW Breast Cancer 3-Day. The center participates in 14 state and federally funded programs that bring students and teachers onto campus each summer.

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