Lynda Chin, M.D., to lead UT System’s new health care transformation initiative

AUSTIN – Renowned physician scientist Lynda Chin, M.D., will join The University of Texas System as its associate vice chancellor for health transformation and chief innovation officer for health affairs, Chancellor William H. McRaven announced today.

Dr. Chin will step down as founding chair of Genomic Medicine and scientific director of the Institute for Applied Cancer Science at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center to assume her position with the UT System effective April 6. Dr. Chin has made multiple scientific discoveries spanning the fields of transcription, telomere biology, and mouse models of human cancer and cancer genomics. She has won numerous distinguished honors for her contributions, including election to the prestigious Institute of Medicine (IOM) of the National Academies in 2012.

In her UT System role, Dr. Chin will create and lead the new Institute for Health Transformation to leverage, develop and deploy innovative, technology-enabled solutions to improve access to and affordability of quality health care in Texas and beyond. 

“If we want to transform the way health care is delivered, then we need bold and innovative solutions,” Chancellor McRaven said. “Dr. Chin is a very talented physician scientist who has the vision and the ability to get it done.”

The new Institute for Health Transformation initially will focus on Project DOC – Diabetes Obesity Control – which was funded by the Board of Regents in 2014 to improve diabetes care and management in South Texas through the use of big data and technology.

Diabetes is the seventh leading cause of death in the United States. About 29.1 million Americans have been diagnosed with the disease, resulting in $245 billion in direct and indirect health care costs each year. About 1.9 million Texans have been diagnosed with diabetes, costing the state $19 billion per year. And roughly one in three South Texans have diabetes, making the region an important target for improved health care management and delivery.

“The current health care model is based on providing acute care to sick patients; that is very ineffective in management of chronic diseases like diabetes,” Dr. Chin said. “A system re-design is needed. Today’s social, mobile and cloud technology along with big data and cognitive analytics can be the keys to a much-needed transformation.” 

At MD Anderson, Dr. Chin has been the trailblazing driver of its cancer care transformation project. Supported by the Jynwel Charitable Foundation, Chin led the development of the MD Anderson Oncology Expert Advisor™ (or OEA™) system, which can quickly and comprehensively distill reams of medical records and clinical data to help physicians make evidenced-based treatment decisions for cancer patients. In the future, the OEA™ system with its associated applications will enable the dissemination and sharing of cancer treatment expertise enabling any cancer patient – no matter the geographic location or socioeconomic status – to access quality cancer care.

Recognizing the potential of her work beyond cancer, former Chancellor Francisco G. Cigarroa appointed Dr. Chin to be a 2014-2015 Chancellor’s Health Fellow to develop a similar strategy for diabetes treatment and management. 

“With her recruitment to the UT System, Dr. Chin will now be able to devote her full effort to such high-impact health initiatives,” said Ray Greenberg, M.D., Ph.D., the UT System’s executive vice chancellor for health affairs. “We are confident that Dr. Chin will lead the UT System in developing a next-generation health care delivery model. With UT System’s statewide reach, we know we have the ability to improve the health of millions of Texans through innovations in health care delivery.” 

About The University of Texas System

Educating students, providing care for patients, conducting groundbreaking research and serving the needs of Texans and the nation for more than 130 years, The University of Texas System is one of the largest public university systems in the United States, with nine academic universities, six health institutions and an enrollment of more than 214,000. The UT System confers more than one-third of the state’s undergraduate degrees, educates two-thirds of the state’s health care professionals annually and accounts for almost 70 percent of all research funds awarded to public universities in Texas. The UT System has an annual operating budget of $15.6 billion (FY 2015) including $3 billion in sponsored programs funded by federal, state, local and private sources. With about 90,000 employees, the UT System is one of the largest employers in the state. For more information, visit www.utsystem.edu.

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