UT System Regents Adopt Resolution Concerning Future UT Medical Branch at Galveston Clinical Operations

AUSTIN -- The University of Texas System Board of Regents today (March 10) adopted a resolution concerning the strategic direction for the clinical enterprise at The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston.

The resolution was adopted at a special called meeting of the Board in Austin and follows several months of deliberative planning and consultation after the devastation of UTMB and the Galveston region by Hurricane Ike last September.

The resolution adopted by the Board outlines the next steps toward planning the future clinical operations of UTMB. A copy of the resolution may be viewed online here.

"The Board of Regents and UT System remain committed to UTMB's future. The Board cannot accomplish the ultimate goal of sustaining UTMB's future alone, and it is important to note the shared responsibility that must exist with the Board; the Legislature, local and federal officials; the philanthropic community; and the necessity for a reliable, long-term source of operating funds from these extramural sources. That said, we are confident a financially viable healthcare delivery system for the institution based on a robust and comprehensive business plan will be developed," Regents’ Chairman H. Scott Caven, Jr., said. "The Board wants UTMB to succeed and prosper to serve future generations of Texans, and we believe the resolution adopted today represents a responsible step in establishing a successful healthcare operation for the island and region necessary to support the mission of a comprehensive academic health center."

The education and research enterprises at UTMB quickly recovered in the weeks following the hurricane's landfall, in large part to the heroic efforts of the Galveston community and the UTMB staff under the leadership of President David Callender and his executive team. The clinical enterprise incurred heavy losses, particularly John Sealy Hospital, which sustained heavy damage and returned to partial operating capacity earlier this year. 

The Board of Regents in November hired Kurt Salmon Associates, a nationally recognized health care consulting firm, to conduct market, facility and financial analyses of UTMB with the ultimate goal of defining a successful clinical model that would include a presence on the island.

Kurt Salmon Associates presented several clinical enterprise models to the Board for consideration at a meeting in Austin last month. Caven immediately announced the formation of a task force of the Board to receive feedback from the public on the consultant's report.

The Task Force on UTMB Clinical Operations, chaired by Regent Colleen McHugh, held a public meeting in Galveston on Feb. 20. Several hundred members of the public attended the meeting and 47 of the more than 120 individuals registered to speak were able to address the Task Force within the allotted time. In addition to the public meeting, several dozen individuals submitted written comments to the task force for consideration.

"The Task Force is deeply impressed by the profound commitment to UTMB's future expressed by the public, local and state elected officials and philanthropic supporters," McHugh said. "A wide range of thoughtful comments and opinions were considered by the Task Force, both in the form of those individuals who addressed the Task Force and those who submitted written comments. On behalf of the task force and the Board of Regents, I would like to express our gratitude to those who participated in this important process."