UNT and Texas Department of State Health Services form partnership
DENTON (UNT), Texas – The University of North Texas and the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) recently announced a partnership that will help advance state research priorities by connecting valuable public health information with academic researchers.
Additional academic resources would allow for in-depth analysis of the information maintained by DSHS. DSHS has relationships with the state public health institutions, but the agreement with UNT marks the first official partnership with a university.
"We are very pleased to partner with UNT on this effort to broaden what we know about the health of Texans," said Dr. David Lakey, DSHS commissioner. "Sharing data and ideas with academic researchers helps us track health trends and work toward our overall mission of improving the health and well-being of Texas."
An affiliation agreement establishing the partnership was signed by Dr. Warren Burggren, UNT provost and vice president for academic affairs, Dr. Vish Prasad, UNT vice president for research and economic development, and State Commissioner David Lakey from DSHS on Friday (Aug. 12). The new relationship will allow UNT researchers and administrators to work strategically with the DSHS staff to identify research projects that align with state initiatives, such as smoking cessation and obesity. The agreement also establishes a competitive internship program that will give UNT students the opportunity to work with the DSHS staff.
"DSHS has a wealth of data about key public health issues such as cholesterol, tobacco use, and H1N1 and other illnesses. This new agreement will allow UNT to work with DSHS to turn that data into findings that advance public health. It also will position the two state entities to cultivate a pipeline of better prepared students for the growing healthcare industry workforce," said Denise Perry Simmons, senior director of research development, who coordinated the agreement.
Dr. Warren Burggren, UNT provost and vice president for academic affairs, agrees with Perry Simmons saying, "Alignment of select research efforts with state initiatives, such as those of DSHS, will foster interdisciplinary problem solving as well as better position the two entities for receipt of competitive external funding awards."
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