During the President’s Forum on Oct. 13, William L. Henrich, MD, MACP, president of UT Health San Antonio, highlighted key points from the university’s five-year strategic plan and discussed the importance of the institution’s ambitious investment in itself.
“We faced a crossroads two years ago about whether or not to invest in ourselves, if we were to take the bull by its horns and believe in ourselves to become an entity that is fully in charge of its own destiny,” Henrich said, explaining the bold decisions made to include hefty investments as part of the university’s plan.
The five-year strategic plan, Possibility and Promise 2023-2027, outlines six main strategic priorities spanning the missions of education, research and patient care that will create vast growth and greater value for faculty, staff, students and patients and drive change in the community.
The six strategic priorities are:
- Expand multidisciplinary clinical services, including The UT Health San Antonio Multispecialty and Research Hospital and the UT Health San Antonio Outpatient and Surgery Center at Kyle Seale Parkway.
- Open the new University of Texas School of Public Health at San Antonio, which will drive innovation, educate public health professionals and grow UT Health San Antonio’s integration with public health policy to impact our diverse community.
- Grow research funding in focused areas, including major diseases that impact disproportionately the unique population of South Texas to such as cancer, aging and diseases of aging, behavioral health, neurosciences and clinical research.
- Deliver outstanding academic programs, graduating the next generation of leaders in their respective fields, and to be acknowledged nationally for our innovative approach to teaching.
- Lead in diversity, equity and inclusion efforts, striving to be a nationally leading model in an inclusive culture, education, diversified talent, leadership development, career opportunities and employment branding.
- Grow research space and programming to meet the growing needs of research initiatives, including new buildings for biomedical research, the Center for Brain Health and additional vivarium lab capacity.
These priorities require significant growth to achieve, and Henrich acknowledged that the university’s infrastructure must be “vastly upgraded to accommodate such audacious growth.”
With increases in clinical revenue and research awards, a projected rise in education enrollment, as well as state and UT System support, UT Health San Antonio is well-positioned to take on significant infrastructure investments and capital projects, including:
- Construction of the UT Health San Antonio Multispecialty and Research Hospital.
- Construction of the UT Health San Antonio Outpatient and Surgery Center at Kyle Seale Parkway.
- Construction of the Center for Brain Health.
- Construction of a central energy plant.
- Vivarium expansion.
- Research sciences building expansion.
- Renovation of 20,000 square feet of existing research space.
- Renovation of the Research and Administration Building for the School of Public Health.
During the forum, President Henrich also featured some of the many prestigious awards and appointments of the university’s faculty, and celebrated the efforts of faculty, students and staff across all schools as he noted the strong national rankings of each school.
Henrich concluded the forum by discussing the challenges of the community that the university serves.
“We live in a city growing so vast that its infrastructure can’t keep pace. We live in a city with an incredible demand for health services,” Henrich said, going on to note that it’s also the poorest of the 25 largest urban populations in America, and that one in four babies born in San Antonio are born to poverty.
“These facts present a daunting challenge, but who is better to take on these challenges than us,” Henrich said. “Even after three years of [COVID-19], we’re in our strongest position ever — a position to treat more complex patients, find more cures and educate even more students.”