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Executive Updates

Executive Updates
from Dr. Byington

May 2018: Health Science Center Strategic Update


Earlier this semester I shared my institutional goals for the Health Science Center: integration across Texas A&M University and the Texas A&M System, creation of an integrated, branded practice plan, increased interprofessional opportunities for education, and an expanded research portfolio. Today, I'm happy to share a few updates across the institution that directly relate to these focus areas.

  • Last week, faculty and staff from the Texas A&M University Health Science Center gathered to define the vision of our Interprofessional Faculty Practice Plan and outline the attributes that will support this clinical initiative. Key items discussed were the importance of population health management, primary care, and interprofessional education beyond undergraduate medical education programs. Retreat attendees discussed ways to craft the new interprofessional faculty practice plan through a team-based approach that creates a distinct clinical culture and focuses on the priorities of rural health, military health and innovation through engineering. I am grateful for Dr. Steve Brown's leadership in this endeavor and am also appreciative that both Dr. Kia Parsi, interim chief executive officer and chief medical officer at CHI St. Joseph Health, and Vice Provost Michael Benedik were able to participate in the planning retreat.
  • I am happy to share that multiple research proposals from faculty across the Health Science Center have moved to the next round of the X-Grants program, an interdisciplinary program designed to bring faculty together across disciplines to advance Texas A&M's research portfolio. Part of the President's Excellence Fund, the program's goal is to unlock creative ideas that will address problems facing global society. Seven million dollars will be broken out into a mix of one-year planning projects, pilot projects or large multi-year awards. In an effort to make these proposals more competitive, I have also set aside $100,000 to support the Health Science Center-led X-Grants reviewed and selected for 5-page applications and not selected for final awarding. The Office of Faculty Development will be supporting these investigators throughout the process to help advance discoveries and encourage collaboration for future competitions. I invite you to view our website to see which investigators from across the Health Science Center have advanced to the next round. The X-Grants program is a great example of one of the ways we will expand our research, while also better integrating our investigators with those across the university.
  • This weekend we launched the redesign of our Health Science Center website. You will immediately notice an updated look and feel that more fully integrates with Texas A&M. We have also worked with the Health Science Center Diversity Committee led by Lavern Holyfield, DDS, director of diversity and faculty development at the College of Dentistry, and Chris Kaunas, MPH, executive director for interprofessional education and research, to ensure the website is inclusive and reflects the diversity of our faculty, staff and students. This redesign will serve as a platform that we can build and expand upon to showcase our institution to internal and external audiences. The streamlined, original design tells the story of the Health Science Center, and helps our prospective partners, faculty, staff and students understand our core values, priorities, vision and mission. Included within the redesign is the launch of an intranet site for our faculty and staff. This intranet is a working resource for us to work more collaboratively, share more information and increase the speed with which we accomplish our goals.

Finally, I am happy to share that the Texas A&M University System Board of Regents voted to approve a 3 percent merit-based compensation pool for Health Science Center faculty and staff. The Health Science Center has set aside resources to support 1.5 percent of the allowable 3 percent and the other 1.5 percent will be funded from college and departmental funds. Merit will be given at the discretion of supervisors to employees who are exceeding goals and expectations. I am pleased that we will be able to offer merit to hard-working individuals across the institution and invest back into their efforts.

Thank you for your continued commitment and support. I look forward to sharing additional information through these Strategic Updates. If you have any questions or feedback, please email

With gratitude,
Carrie L. Byington, MD