UT Health San Antonio hosts inaugural ARPA-H Customer Experience Hub information session

Texas-based hub solicits ‘spoke’ participants during gathering of 250-plus

Contact: Steven Lee, 210-450-3823, lees22@uthscsa.edu

Content contributed by Lisa Cruz, 210-724-1691, lcruz@upsidecomms.com

SAN ANTONIO, Dec. 21, 2023 – A leading consortium of San Antonio research institutions joined with colleagues from across Texas and the region this week for an information session of the Advanced Research Projects Agency for Health (ARPA-H) Customer Experience Hub (CX Hub).

The regional event of more than 250 participants was organized by BioMedSA for the ARPA-H CX Hub and held at the Academic Learning and Teaching Center at The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio (UT Health San Antonio), host of the event along with the University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA), on Dec. 19.

Participants received additional details about the role of ARPA-H program managers, “spoke” membership (referring to member institutions in the hub and spoke structure) and an overview of the ARPA-H Advancing Clinical Trial Readiness (ACTR) initiative announced in October.

Joining with Austin, Dallas and Houston earlier this year, San Antonio helped secure the national ARPA-H CX Hub in Texas. An agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, ARPA-H aims to accelerate breakthrough technologies and platforms in an effort to transform medicine and health and improve health outcomes for patients.

BioMedSA president Heather Hanson addresses the ARPA-H information session.

The Texas-based CX Hub is one of three regional hubs to form this national health innovation network. The CX Hub is tasked with funding and developing solutions to make health care solutions more accessible and adoptable.

“Everything that happens in the Customer Experience Hub has to have the voice of the customer and be patient-centric, making sure it is translatable to future health outcomes,” said Mike Stebbins, vice president, medical and threat countermeasures, for Advanced Technology International (ATI), the consortium manager.

The CX Hub currently has 208 spokes, from San Antonio’s larger research and academic organizations like UT Health San Antonio, UTSA, Texas Biomedical Research Institute, Southwest Research Institute and BioBridge Global to for-profit organizations like Scorpius BioManufacturing and other businesses such as Eagle Health Analytics. Organizations can apply to be a spoke within either the Customer Experience Hub or the Investor Catalyst Hub.

“Hosting this national research network information session in San Antonio is meaningful as it identifies among many other things that Texas and the middle of the country is a strong biomedical resource for the rest of the United States and for the world,” said William L. Henrich, MD, MACP, president of UT Health San Antonio. “What it opens up for us is possibilities to grow the research enterprise in these magnificent research institutions. Texas and its institutions will now stand at the center in facilitating progress so that the transformative science projects of today and tomorrow can get traction and work to achieve better health outcomes for everyone.”

Recently, the CX Hub launched the ACTR initiative, which according to ARPA-H informational material is aimed at identifying, integrating and advancing new solutions for clinical trials to encourage more diverse participation and better, faster outcomes. The initiative began with a community survey to determine what the participants have identified as critical challenges with clinical trials.

Stebbins said that the ARPA-H program managers are tasked with finding truly unique approaches to solving our nation’s health care crisis and some of those solutions require being embedded in the community.

“We look forward to creating unique experiences for the ARPA-H team in San Antonio, showcasing our unique capabilities and resources and a community that is highly representative of the changing demographics nationally,” said BioMedSA president Heather Hanson. “It is important that San Antonio institutions have a seat at the table, and today’s informational session was just a first step. This program is also providing San Antonio the opportunity to network nationally and foster greater B2B networks beyond ARPA-H.”

The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio (UT Health San Antonio), a primary driver of San Antonio’s $44.1 billion health care and biosciences sector, is the largest academic research institution in South Texas with an annual research portfolio of more than $360 million. Driving substantial economic impact with its six professional schools, a diverse workforce of more than 7,900, an annual expense budget of $1.23 billion and clinical practices that provide 2.6 million patient visits each year, UT Health San Antonio plans to add more than 1,500 higher-wage jobs over the next five years to serve San Antonio, Bexar County and South Texas. To learn about the many ways “We make lives better®,” visit UTHealthSA.org.

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