Community invited to participate in national health care improvement conference

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SAN ANTONIO (Aug. 23, 2016) — San Antonio area residents will have the opportunity to contribute to improving patient safety and the quality of health care at a national conference sponsored by the School of Nursing of the UT Health Science Center San Antonio.

The “Conference on Community Engagement and Healthcare Improvement” will take place Friday, Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 2-4, at the Wyndham San Antonio Riverwalk hotel, 111 E. Pecan, in downtown San Antonio.

The conference theme is “Social Justice, Health Equity and Value-Based Care.”

Community members are invited to attend the conference Sept. 3-4 as a free community event. No registration is required. Community members can sign in at the conference desk on the second level of the hotel.

A sampling of topics to be discussed include:

  • Development of the Caring for the Caregiver Program: Drawing on Community Strengths
  • Academic-Community Partnerships to Reduce Health Disparities
  • Building Walkable Communities: Developing Sustainable Solutions
  • Building a Bexar County Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (NAS) Collaborative
  • Reproductive Health Equity and Survival: The Voices of Homeless Mothers
  • Community Fall Prevention Outreach for Older Adults in South Texas

The fee for health professionals and other professional community stakeholders is $675 for the full conference or $375 for one day, with continuing education credits available. Register at

View the complete conference agenda here:

Part of the President’s Precision Medicine Initiative

The conference will showcase President Obama’s Precision Medicine Initiative. The purpose of the initiative, announced in early 2015 and led by the National Institutes of Health, is to prevent and treat disease by focusing on an individual’s genes, environment and lifestyle.

“Precision medicine seeks to redefine our understanding of disease onset and progression, treatment response, and health outcomes through the more precise measurement of molecular, environmental and behavior factors that contribute to health and disease,” states the NIH report, “The Precision Medicine Initiative Cohort Program – Building a Research Foundation for 21st Century Medicine.

This can be accomplished through open meetings throughout the U.S. that bring together community members, health care professionals, researchers and community stakeholders, explained conference organizer Darpan Patel, Ph.D., assistant professor of research in the UT Health Science Center’s School of Nursing.

“The goals are to get input from the public on their health issues and concerns; discuss current health care research that impacts patients in South Texas; and come up with ideas for new clinical trials focusing on health questions that include diverse populations. Another major goal is to bring together the scientific community and the general public to discuss how to meaningfully engage patients and stakeholders in patient-centered outcomes research and health care improvement. Engagement of underserved populations in community-based research is key to reducing health disparities and improving patient outcomes,” he said.

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The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, with missions of teaching, research and healing, is one of the country’s leading health sciences universities. Its schools of medicine, nursing, dentistry, health professions and graduate biomedical sciences have more than 33,000 alumni who are advancing their fields throughout the world. With six campuses in San Antonio and Laredo, the university has a FY 16 revenue operating budget of $801.8 million and is the primary driver of its community’s $30.6 billion biomedical and health care industry. For more information on the many ways “We make lives better®,” visit

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