The dean of the Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine, Don Peska, DO, believes that the North Texas community will benefit greatly from the partnership between JPS Health Network and the University of North Texas (UNT) Health Science Center. “All of the community benefits from having an efficient health care system,” he said.
Peska said that combining the expertise of two healthcare providers into one collaborative practice will strengthen the delivery of healthcare in Tarrant County, however, “we don’t know yet all that this will accomplish.” The physician noted the savings that will come from the shared services, since the resources can be redirected to improve the quality and safety of healthcare.
One of the noted benefits is the probability of patients finding it easier to schedule an appointment because of the increase in the number of physicians. Patients will also have access to a broader range of specialists and benefit from advances in the research fields that the UNT Health Science Center invests in. “By redirecting resources, we could essentially grow our own work force and improve the quality of health care,” Dr. Peska said.
Students and faculty members, on the other hand, will benefit from the hospital’s teaching skills, according to the Chairman and Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Ralph Anderson, MD. The single clinical practice model is designed to improve the availability of teachers to work with medical students. The practice opportunities at JPS for faculty members will be expanded in the future, and the complex is expecting to further develop well-trained groups of health professionals, which could help relieve the physician shortage.
The UNT Health Science Center plays a vital role in the economic prosperity and community well-being of the city of Fort Worth and surrounding regions, since the research facility injects more than $600 million into the Forth Worth and regional economy annually, employs 416 faculty members, 855 Adjunct Faculty, 1,353 Non-Faculty Staff, and has a student body of almost 2,000 people. Recently, its master of Health Administration program became the first and the only MHA program approved by the Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Management Education (CAHME).
JPS Health Network has already collaborated with college institutions in the past, such as a study conducted on 6,000 North Texas residents that evaluated the influence of the standards of care strategy for the screening of colorectal cancers in the treatment of the disease.
The merger not only improves the supply capacity of both UNTHSC and JPS, but it also raises their profiles as leaders in one of the newest trends in medicine, Dr. Anderson said. “Medicine is moving toward a collaborative way of delivering patient care and this merger encourages that.”