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The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Semester-long lecture series explores healthcare and state demographics

Population demographics
Photo by Provided
Population demographics

The College of Architecture and School of Public Health have teamed up once again for a coalition designed to educate students and faculty of the overlapping nature of the architecture and health fields — the “Spring 2017 Architecture for Health Visiting Lecture Series.”
The series, “Texas 2025: Toward Improved Health and Health Facility Design,” is run throughout the semester linking back to one overlapping umbrella topic — Texas health. Each visiting lecturer will take his or her take and professional input on the topic and present it for students.
“This semester is about Texas Health” said Zhipeng Lu, associate director for the Center for Health Systems & Design and one of the event organizers. “While last semester was population health as a whole, we’re focusing this semester on the healthy living of people living in Texas, so it’s a more specific population.”
Lecture topics range from community health and emergency medicine to health planning and the rural Texas populations accessibility to quality care.
George Mann, lecture co-coordinator and holder of the Ronald L. Skaggs, FAIA Endowed Professor in Health Facilities Design, said the coverage of Texas as the topic for this semester’s series is one based of a multiple set of issues.
“Texas is the second largest state in population.” Mann said. “We’ve got insured and uninsured, an imbalance in health facilities across the state, and a large population in rural areas. This is the basis behind this whole series.”
According to Bita Kash, associate professor at the School of Public Health, director of National Science Foundation Center for Health Organization Transformation (CHOT), and lecture series co-coordinator, said the disproportion of health care in rural America is a serious problem.
“When you assess the current healthcare landscape, you can quickly detect a rural-urban divide in access to healthcare and health outcomes.” Kash said. “Today we also see a clear skew in distribution of healthcare providers and people, especially in Texas. While 17 percent of the U.S. population lives in rural communities only nine percent of physicians practice in these rural communities.”
Kash said the disproportion is similar in that of nurses, dentists and general practitioners. All the organizers agree that both students of public health and architecture will soon have to address these issues.
“I would like our public health students to become inspired by the creative work of the architecture students, and for the architecture students to become more aware of public health professionals as a resource when designing the future healthcare facilities.” Kash said. “I want them to continue to work together as professionals after they graduate from their respective programs.”
While the series can be taken as a class for students in the college of architecture as well as the school of public health, the public is free to attend. The next event is this Friday, March 31st in Francis Hall room 102 at 12:40 p.m., and Carrie Byington, dean of medicine and senior vice president of the Health Science Center, will talk about “The Need for 21st Century Designs for Non-Hospital Based Care.”
Speakers present most Fridays until April 28th, for a complete schedule of the series as well as updates on future events, please visit one.arch.tamu.edu/news/2017/2/14/designers-discuss-healthcare-challenges.

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