Collaboration Between Texas Health Resources, Laura W. Bush Institute Aims to Advance Women’s Health in North Texas
04/24/2012

ARLINGTON and AMARILLO, Texas — Texas Health Resources and the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center (TTUHSC) Laura W. Bush Institute for Women’s Health (LWBIWH) have launched a collaboration that will leverage community involvement, education and research to empower women in the Dallas-Fort Worth area to take control of their health.

Women utilize more health care than men and make approximately 80 percent of the health care decisions for themselves and their families. This new collaboration will not only enable women to make better decisions about their own health and that of their families, but it will also enable physicians to attain special training in gender-specific medicine.

“We’re privileged to team up with the Laura W. Bush Institute for Women’s Health as another way to help families stay healthy,” said Douglas D. Hawthorne, FACHE, CEO of Texas Health. “A key to our transforming health care in North Texas for the 21st century will be identifying the needs of defined groups of people, and connecting each individual with the right service, at the right time, in the right place. Our collaboration with the Laura W. Bush Institute speaks directly to this important goal.”

The LWBIWH, headquartered in Amarillo, already had a presence in Lubbock, El Paso, Midland and San Angelo. Dallas-Fort Worth is home to 6.3 million residents, half of which are female, and is the current residence of former first lady Mrs. Laura Bush and her family.

“The collaboration between Texas Health Resources and the Laura W. Bush Institute for Women’s Health is a testimonial to those who care about leading the way for healthy families,” said Laura Street, executive director of the LWBIWH. “We are thrilled to share the message that differences matter in research, education and community outreach so that providers are able to give individualized care.”

Arlene Betancourt, M.D., will serve as the physician champion of the Texas Health-LWBIWH collaboration. An internal medicine specialist based in Dallas, Betancourt has a deep interest in gender-specific aspects of practicing medicine.

“Gender differences influence the decisions that I as a primary-care physician make with my patients every day,” Betancourt said. “As a result of the collaboration between Texas Health and the Laura W. Bush Institute, we would like to increase physician awareness of these gender differences as well as empower every patient to make better health decisions. I’m excited about this project, which has the potential to impact and to improve the health of so many.”

There are three main components of the collaboration:

  1. Community involvement – Events will be held with the goal of educating women to be advocates for their health by providing the latest information on research, procedures, wellness and prevention. These events will begin in May with “Advances in Medicine” seminars, which will feature leading Texas Health-affiliated specialists discussing gender-specific topics based on research by the LWBIWH. The initial seminars will center on two topics where gender differences have a significant impact on health: vitamins and herbal supplements, and osteoporosis. Physicians on the medical staffs of numerous Texas Health facilities will give presentations on these topics in cities across the Metroplex — including Dallas, Fort Worth, Arlington, Plano and Denton. The talks are free, but attendees must register in advance.
  2. Education – The LWBIWH is developing a gender-specific continuing education program for current and future health care providers that will help them better understand how their decisions and recommendations will affect those for whom they care. Physicians who undergo this training can earn a certificate of completion from the TTUHSC in gender-specific medicine.
  3. Research – Texas Health and the LWBIWH will collaborate on research around women and the impact of gender differences on health care.

More information is available at TexasHealth.org/ForWomen.

About Texas Health Resources
Texas Health Resources is one of the largest faith-based, nonprofit health systems in the United States. The health system includes 24 acute-care and short-stay hospitals that are owned, operated, joint-ventured or affiliated with Texas Health Resources. It includes the Texas Health Presbyterian, Texas Health Arlington Memorial and Texas Health Harris Methodist hospitals, a large physician group, outpatient facilities, and home health, preventive and fitness services, and an organization for medical research and education.

For more information about Texas Health Resources, call 1-877-THR-WELL or visit TexasHealth.org.

About the Laura W. Bush Institute for Women’s Health
Established in 2007, the LWBIWH builds and offers research, education and community outreach programs to improve the lives of women and their families by applying the resources and expertise from its affiliation with the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center and Angelo State University. The institute supports scientific discoveries unique to women’s health and gender differences; advances the knowledge of health care professionals through evidence-based resources; and connects with communities for healthier lives. For more information about the LWBIWH, call 806-356-4617 or visit laurabushinstitute.org.