skip to main content

Executive Updates

Executive Updates
from Dr. Byington

February 2018: Health Science Center Executive Update


With the spring semester now well underway, I want to thank you for your hard work and provide a brief update on some important initiatives and notable accomplishments.

College of Medicine student named 2018 Army Hero of Military Medicine

Congratulations to second-year medical student and Tillman Scholar, Major Andrew Fisher, who was recently announced as the 2018 Hero of Military Medicine by the Center for Public-Private Partnerships at the Henry M. Jackson Foundation for the Advancement of Military Medicine, Inc. This is a prestigious honor and we are proud to have veterans like Major Fisher as part of our student body.

College of Nursing names new dean

Dr. Nancy Fahrenwald has been named the new dean of the Texas A&M College of Nursing, effective June 1. Dr. Fahrenwald comes to Texas A&M after a 22-year career at South Dakota State University, where she has served as dean of the College of Nursing since 2013. A fellow of the American Academy of Nursing, she maintains an active research program in health promotion for rural and underserved populations and serves in national leadership roles in these specialty areas. I look forward to working with Dr. Fahrenwald in the near future.

College of Pharmacy licensing pass rate above national average

Pharmacy students continue to excel on their licensing exams. First-time pass rates for the NAPLEX (North American Pharmacy Licensure Examination) and the MPJE (Multistate Pharmacy Jurisprudence Examination) for the Rangel College of Pharmacy Class of 2017 are higher than both the state and national averages. The first-time pass rate of the Class of 2017 for the NAPLEX is 93.51 percent, while the first-time pass rate for the MPJE is 95.45 percent.

Public Health researcher receives NIH grant

Dr. Natalie Johnson, assistant professor at School of Public Health, has received the Outstanding New Environmental Scientist award from National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS). The award, worth just over $2 million, is for a multiyear project on the mechanisms of particulate matter-driven infant respiratory disease. Congratulations, Dr. Johnson!

Students, faculty and staff serve community at local HEBs
Faculty, staff and students from the College of Medicine, College of Nursing, College of Pharmacy, School of Public Health and community health workers from Healthy South Texas provided health and wellness screenings to Bryan-College Station community members at two HEB locations last month. This was a great interprofessional event and provided a much-needed service to the local community. You can view photos from the event here.

Coming soon-Disaster Day
On Feb. 16, the Texas A&M Health Science Center will host Disaster Day, the nation's largest student-run interprofessional emergency response simulation. The day-long simulations bring more than 650 interprofessional student teams in medicine, nursing, pharmacy and public health together with other members of the community to diagnose, treat, and care for volunteer patients. The 10 th anniversary event will be held at Disaster City, and I'm excited to see all of our students working collaboratively to train in the same facility our nation's emergency response professionals use. Volunteers are still needed for the event. If you are interested in serving as support staff, please visit:

GIHH call for proposals
Investigators from across The Texas A&M University System and Driscoll Children's Hospital or Driscoll Health Plan are encouraged to apply for the newly launched Clinical Research Seed Grant program, sponsored by the Global Institute for Hispanic Health (GIHH). The GIHH is a partnership between Texas A&M University Health Science Center and Driscoll Children's Hospital, led by Medical Director Jaime Fergie, MD, infectious diseases specialist at Driscoll Children's Hospital. Proposals should focus on the geographic region of South Texas, the health needs of the Hispanic population and the elimination of health care disparities in the Hispanic community. The goal of the program is to support pilot research projects that will lead to future extramural funding. I encourage all faculty to consider applying and joining the webinar on February 12 for additional information.

In closing, thank you for all you do to make the Health Science Center a dynamic institution that offers transformational learning experiences, contributes new discoveries and innovations that advance health, and impacts the state of Texas and our nation through selfless service. For real-time updates, please follow me on Twitter @carrie_byington and visit the Vital Record news site.

With warmest wishes,
Carrie L. Byington, MD