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eatured, seated, from left: Dr. John H. Krouse, Executive Vice President for Health Affairs, University of Texas Rio Grande Valley and Dean, UTRGV School of Medicine, recently welcomed Dr. Subhash C. Chauhan, Ph.D. as Founding Director of the South Texas Center of Excellence in Cancer Research and Chair of the Department of Immunology and Microbiology at the UTRGV School of Medicine. Standing are members of Chauhan’s team along with another UTRGV leader, featured from left: Dr. Manish Tripathi; Dr. Andrew Tsin, UTRGV Associate Dean of Research; Dr. Bilal Hafeez; Dr. Meena Jaggi; Dr. Murali Yallapu; and and Dr. Sheema Khan. The UTRGV School of Medicine recently welcomed its new cancer immunology team with a signing ceremony on Tuesday, April 9, 2019 at the UTRGV/UT Health RGV Biomedical Research Building, which is located on DHR Health’s South Campus in McAllen. Photograph Courtesy THE UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS RIO GRANDE VALLEY SCHOOL OF MEDICINE

Featured, seated, from left: Dr. John H. Krouse, Executive Vice President for Health Affairs, University of Texas Rio Grande Valley and Dean, UTRGV School of Medicine, recently welcomed Dr. Subhash C. Chauhan, Ph.D. as Founding Director of the South Texas Center of Excellence in Cancer Research and Chair of the Department of Immunology and Microbiology at the UTRGV School of Medicine. Standing are members of Chauhan’s team along with another UTRGV leader, featured from left: Dr. Manish Tripathi; Dr. Andrew Tsin, UTRGV Associate Dean of Research; Dr. Bilal Hafeez; Dr. Meena Jaggi; Dr. Murali Yallapu; and Dr. Sheema Khan. The UTRGV School of Medicine recently welcomed its new cancer immunology team with a signing ceremony on Tuesday, April 9, 2019 at the UTRGV/UT Health RGV Biomedical Research Building, which is located on DHR Health’s South Campus in McAllen.

Photograph Courtesy THE UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS RIO GRANDE VALLEY SCHOOL OF MEDICINE

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DHR Health is a key part of UTRGV School of Medicine’s vision to build academic health system, says Dr. John H. Krouse, medical school dean, as cancer immunology team welcomed to Biomedical Research Building located on DHR Health’s South Campus

By DAVID A. DÍAZ
Legislativemedia@aol.com

DHR Health, the physician-owned health system anchored in southwest Edinburg, with a growing presence in neighboring McAllen, offers some of the most comprehensive medical care on the U.S. southern border, featuring hospitals, medical, administrative and financial buildings, and the physical and technological infrastructure along with 4,400 employees needed to effectively administer such a large complex.

With such high credentials and accomplishments, DHR Health is positioned to help the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley School of Medicine to become an academic health system, a place “where medical breakthroughs happen and where patients receive the world’s best care,” predicts Dr. John H. Krouse, Executive Vice President for Health Affairs and Dean of the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley School of Medicine.

In general, an academic health system includes a medical school and at least one allied health professional school and either owns or is affiliated with a teaching hospital or healthcare system. Academic health systems are intended to ensure that medical research breakthroughs lead to direct clinical benefits for patients.

In the most recent related development involving DHR Health, the UTRGV School of Medicine welcomed its new cancer immunology team with a signing ceremony on Tuesday, April 9, 2019 at the UTRGV/UT Health RGV Biomedical Research Building, located at DHR Health’s South Campus in McAllen.

The team of cancer immunology researchers will be housed in the research complex located on the south side of Dove Avenue in McAllen across from DHR Health campuses in Edinburg. This research program, funded in-part by the City of McAllen, will bring a core of faculty and postdoctoral staff that will work on advancing knowledge into cancer immunology, an area of rapid growth in treatment opportunities for patients with cancer.

The team is led by Dr. Subhash C. Chauhan, Ph.D., who will be the Founding Director of the South Texas Center of Excellence in Cancer Research and Chair of the Department of Immunology and Microbiology at the UTRGV School of Medicine.

Also on the agenda for UTRGV School of Medicine are, but not limited to, the following priorities:

• Exploring opportunities for research, clinical trials and other endeavors with DHR Health to advance the development of medications and other treatments for patients;

• Being at the forefront of developing centers of excellence for decreasing and hopefully eliminating, healthcare disparities among the Hispanic population, and

• Bringing together partnerships to provide innovative research and treatment for patients with cancer, diabetes, and many other common chronic diseases.

“Though DHR Health and the UTRGV School of Medicine have accomplished a huge amount individually, it is when these two entities join together that the Valley can benefit from the synergism and energy that the partnership can bring,” Krouse said. “This is certainly my hope for our growing partnership, and what I believe is your vision as well.”

Krouse detailed the UTRGV medical school’s growing partnership with DHR Health on Thursday, December 20, 2018, during a major presentation that was part of the State of the Hospital Address held at the Edinburg Conference Center at Renaissance.

“There is no question that this evolving alignment between our institutions has been and will continue to be transformational for health care in the Valley, now and into the future,” he said. “It is our vision at the UTRGV School of Medicine to come together with our colleagues at DHR Health to form the Valley’s first academic health system.”

DHR Health is a physician-owned health system and the only locally owned and operated hospital left in Hidalgo and Cameron counties. Anchored in southwest Edinburg, with a growing presence in neighboring McAllen, DHR Health offers some of the most comprehensive medical care on the U.S. southern border, with over 1,400 nurses and 700 physicians providing care in 70 specialties and sub-specialties.

Additionally, DHR Health is the flagship teaching hospital for the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley School of Medicine, and encompasses a general acute hospital with a 24/7 Level III Trauma Center, the only dedicated women’s hospital south of San Antonio, a rehabilitation hospital, a behavioral hospital, over 60 clinics Valley wide, advanced cancer services, and the only kidney transplant program in the Rio Grande Valley, to name a few.

Krause is “an accomplished leader and administrator”

In laying out the ambitious masterplan for the UTRGV School of Medicine and the current and projected roles of DHR Health, Krouse brings with him the wealth of professional and academic experiences needed to continuing making such attainable high hopes a reality.

On Thursday, May 11, 2017, UTRGV leaders announced that Krouse had been named as its new Vice President for Medical Affairs and Dean of the School of Medicine. He officially began his new leadership role on Saturday, July 1, 2017.

Krouse came to the Valley from Temple University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, where he served as the Senior Associate Dean for Clinical Affairs; President of Temple University Physicians; professor and Chairman of the Department of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery; and Director of the Head and Neck Institute at the Lewis Katz School of Medicine. He also served as Associate Dean for Graduate Medical Education from 2012 to 2015.

“Dr. Krouse has extensive experience in many key areas that will play an important role in moving the UTRGV School of Medicine forward,” said Dr. Guy Bailey, President, UTRGV. “Temple has traditionally been ranked as one of the top research-oriented medical schools in the nation, so to attract someone of Dr. Krouse’s caliber is a credit to the faculty, staff and students we already have in place.”

UTRGV began its search for a permanent dean for the School of Medicine in the Fall of 2016, forming a committee composed of representatives from the university, hospital partners and the community-at-large.

Dr. Kenneth Shine, consultant to the president of UTRGV, and Dr. Michael Lehker, Founding Dean of the UTRGV College of Health Professions, co-chaired the committee.

“An accomplished leader and administrator, Dr. Krouse has demonstrated extraordinary skills in developing educational and clinical programs, recruiting faculty, leading research efforts and in commitment to community,” Shine said. “He is a proverbial ‘quadruple threat.’”

Krouse: DHR Health “is second to none in the quality of its physicians and services”

Krouse acknowledged that when he moved to deep South Texas, he had much to learn about the region, its people and achievements, and the capacity of DHR Health to continue helping build the Valley’s destiny as a major force for good in Texas.

“As I opened my remarks today, I commented that I did not have any familiarity with the Rio Grande Valley prior to first visiting about two years ago. What I have learned in those two years is that this is an area with immense potential, with the warmest and most dedicated people that I have ever met, and with a leadership group committed to the health of every citizen,” Krouse reflected. “I have learned that the Valley is fortunate to have such an outstanding health enterprise as DHR Health, built by Valley residents for Valley residents, and second to none in the quality of its physicians and services.”

Krouse graduated from Carnegie-Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and received his Ph.D. in clinical psychology from the University of Rochester, New York. He earned his Doctor of Medicine degree from Harvard Medical School in Boston, Massachusetts. He received a Master of Business Administration from the Fox School of Business at Temple University in 2014.

He completed his internship in surgery at Beth Israel Hospital and his residency training in otolaryngology-head and neck surgery at the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary/Harvard Medical School in Boston. He is board certified in otolaryngology. (Otolaryngology is the study of diseases of the ear and throat.)

Krouse was impressed with the commitment by the people of DHR Health to build on its reputation as one of the best hospital systems in the United States.

“Through its ongoing and sustained investment in the community, DHR Health has led the Valley in healthcare innovation, allowing steadily increasing numbers of patients to remain here in the Valley to receive comprehensive treatment for a wide range of medical and surgical needs,” he noted. “Together, our two institutions have the potential to elevate not only the quality of and access to care, but to grow the stature of the Rio Grande Valley to become a nationwide leader in healthcare innovation and care delivery.”

Some key accomplishments so far resulting from UTRGV School of Medicine’s partnership with DHR Health

Among the many accomplishments that have been reached through the partnership between the UTRGV School of Medicine and DHR Health, that list includes, according to Krouse:

UTRGV School of Medicine is preparing 169 new physicians in 10 residency programs, most of whom are receiving their training and clinical education here through DHR Health. This is significant for the community because at least 64 percent are staying to deliver quality care to patients and teach other young physicians;

• UTRGV School of Medicine will continue to work together with DHR Health in growing additional residencies and fellowships to address local workforce needs. The School of Medicine also has 155 medical students, with about 50 in their third year of study, many of whom are rotating at DHR Health and learning from DHR Health’s skilled physicians and surgeons;

• In coming years, UTRGV through its Health Affairs Division will also be building additional educational and professional degree programs in a number of areas critical to the Valley’s ongoing healthcare needs. Through its clinical practice plan, known as UT Health RGV, the UTRGV School of Medicine is helping to expand access to care to many individuals who otherwise often have limited ability to obtain the necessary treatments for their illnesses;

• UT Health RGV has brought subspecialty physicians to the Valley in a variety of areas, many of whom work hand-in-hand with DHR Health physicians and practice at DHR Health;

• UTRGV School of Medicine is working collaboratively with DHR Health to expand the types of services patients need, including trauma surgery, pediatric subspecialties services, maternity care and women’s health, as well as through our four (4) residency clinics here on this campus. The goal is to build together an ever-strengthening network of physicians and services to care for all of the Valley’s residents, especially in important areas such as trauma, cancer care, and pediatrics;

• This growth is already underway through a number of joint clinical recruitments that UTRGV School of Medicine has made with DHR Health. UTRGV School of Medicine has hired pediatric subspecialties in neurology, genetics, and developmental and behavioral health; and

• UTRGV School of Medicine continues to develop a trauma program through the recruitment and hire of fellowship-trained trauma surgeons, establishing a higher level of trauma care and leading to the launch of a Level I Comprehensive Trauma Center in the Valley; and

UTRGV School of Medicine welcomes new cancer immunology team

Krouse said more advances in medical education and health care, as a result of DHR Health’s vital participation, are on the way to the Valley, now and in the near-future.

On Tuesday, April 9, 2019, the UTRGV School of Medicine recently welcomed its new cancer immunology team with a signing ceremony at the UTRGV/UT Health RGV Biomedical Research Building in McAllen.

The team of cancer immunology researchers will be housed in the research complex, which is located on DHR Health’s South Campus in McAllen. This research program, funded in-part by the City of McAllen, will bring a core of faculty and postdoctoral staff that will work on advancing knowledge into cancer immunology, an area of rapid growth in treatment opportunities for patients with cancer.

The team is led by Dr. Subhash C. Chauhan, Ph.D., who will be the Founding Director of the South Texas Center of Excellence in Cancer Research and Chair of the Department of Immunology and Microbiology at the UTRGV School of Medicine.

Chauhan comes to UTRGV from The University of Tennessee Health Science Center, where he served as a professor in the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences in the College of Pharmacy and Cancer Research Center.

He is an accomplished researcher with 24 years of experience in cancer immunology research, and has garnered several high-award grants from the National Institutes of Health. He also has had numerous papers published in scientific journals and is often cited in papers by other researchers.

“Dr. Chauhan has done extensive research related to cancer, including research into pancreatic cancer treatment, and the association between human papilloma virus infection and certain cancers among American Indian men and women. With the cervical cancer incidence and mortality rates among women in the Rio Grande Valley being two to three times higher than the rest of the state, having Dr. Chauhan come to the Rio Grande Valley to lead this new institute is extremely important to our community and has the potential to transform healthcare here and save lives,” said Krouse.

Chauhan earned his Ph.D. from Central Drug Research Institute in Lucknow, India. He is a member of the American Association for Cancer Research, the American Association for Advancement of Science, the Perinatal Research Society, and the South Dakota Academy of Science.

In this new leadership role, Chauhan will bring a team of five cancer biology investigators to help develop the first nationally recognized center of excellence for cancer immunology in South Texas. The team members joining him are Dr. Meena Jaggi, Dr. Bilal Hafeez, Dr. Sheema Khan, Dr. Manish Tripathi, and Dr. Murali Yallapu.

“This is an exciting time for the growth of the Valley region, as new research infrastructure is going to evolve in the area,” Chauhan said. “Our research team is excited to be the part of this growth. Our team will bring unique strengths that are required to address heath issues of the local communities and the southernmost part of Texas.”

Chauhan said new research infrastructure will provide unique opportunities to local students who want to pursue their career in science and education, and that the Department of Microbiology and Immunology and South Texas Center of Excellence in Cancer Research will provide a state-of-the art research facility in the Valley.

Researchers at this multidisciplinary center will use their expertise in cell and molecular biology, immunology, nanoparticle technology and mouse model systems to examine the development, detection and treatment of human cancers.

Chauhan and his team will assume their positions at UTRGV by Summer 2019.

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Jennifer Berghom contributed to this article. For more information, please contact Roberto Haddad, Vice President and Counsel for Government Affairs and Policy at DHR Health, or Jesse Ozuna, Government Affairs Officer at DHR Health, at 956/362-7165. For more on this and other Texas legislative news stories which affect the Rio Grande Valley metropolitan region, please log on to Titans of the Texas Legislature (TitansoftheTexasLegislature.com).

 

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