Lynda Chin, M.D., current chair of Genomic Medicine at University of Texas (UT) MD Anderson was recently nominated as a UT System Chancellor’s Health Fellow, and will coordinate planning and development of a collaborative effort for improving healthcare delivery through the use of technology and big data. The main focus of Dr. Chin’s project will be the management of diabetes in the region of South Texas.
New technologies, along with data, mobile, social and cloud systems have not only become commonplace in everyday lives, but also have the potential to improve healthcare delivery as well, according to Chin, who launched the cross-industry, cross-discipline collaborative effort 18 months ago. The original plan was to create a prototype of an oncology care delivery system centered on patients. Now, the model will be replicated to tackle diabetes management.
The UT System’s Chancellor’s Health Fellowship is a recognition of the project as an innovative solution to address healthcare challenges regarding diabetes, and a means of allowing Dr. Chin to continue to develop a forward-looking plan using similar technology platforms to manage diabetes among high-risk patient populations in South Texas, where the disease is not only a health concern, but also an economic problem as well. Her work may have broad applicability across many disease areas in the future, according to the System.
“Being selected as a Chancellor’s Health Fellow is a great honor,” Dr. Chin said. “At UT MD Anderson, we are making progress in collaboration with our colleagues in academia and in industry to build a different model of cancer care delivery. I firmly believe that our experiences, lessons learned and foundational capabilities in the cancer program can be leveraged to leapfrog an innovative program for diabetes management in South Texas and beyond.”
The project will be developed in collaboration with both the founding dean of the medical school at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley, Francisco Fernandez, M.D., and the university’s faculty and administrative leadership.
“Enhancing health care in the Rio Grande Valley is one of the UT System’s top priorities, and Dr. Chin will play a critical role in our efforts,” said UT System Executive Vice Chancellor of Health Affairs Ray Greenberg, M.D., Ph.D., one of those responsible for the nomination, along with Chancellor Francisco G. Cigarroa, M.D. “We hope to leverage Dr. Chin’s knowledge and experience working on innovative health information technology solutions for the benefit of patients in South Texas and beyond.”
“Dr. Chin’s medical and scientific leadership and expertise can augment the clinical strengths being assembled by the new medical school at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley and its affiliated hospitals and partners,” Chancellor Cigarroa said. “We are honored that she has accepted the fellowship, and we appreciate her willingness to lend her time and effort to help develop this innovative program in South Texas.”
The model of care delivery that spurred Chin’s nomination is a cutting-edge technology designed to increase cancer patients’ access to quality, expert care, so that more people can benefit from specialty expertise closer to home, since most people don’t have access to large and innovative cancer centers. Chin believes that the patient-centric model can address major deficiencies in cancer care treatment in the U.S., as it could reduce disparate access to experts, enhance effectiveness of care, improve overall patient outcomes, and reduce costs.
Lynda Chin is an internationally recognized physician who has been awarded for her research and career. Chin has studied not only cancer genomics and personalized cancer medicine, but has also made multiple scientific discoveries regarding transcription, telomere biology, mouse models of human cancer, and oncogenomics. In 2012, she was elected to the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies.
During her role as a Chancellor’s Health Fellow for the UT System, Chin will still work as a professor and chair of the Department of Genomic Medicine and scientific director of the Institute for Applied Cancer Science at UT MD Anderson.
The Chancellor’s Health Fellowship program was established by the UT System Office of Health Affairs in 2004 with the goal of promoting the innovation of individual health institutions, which are themselves committed to broadening the societal impact on health care, education, and research. Previous Chancellor’s Health Fellows focused on patient care quality, public health, and health care ethics, among other topics.