The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio will soon undergo a historic rebranding in an effort to better connect with community and industry stakeholders — as well as with peer institutions elsewhere in the state. The public should begin to see the new name, UT Health San Antonio, early next year.
That’s not the only significant change in the works for one of the city’s most critical medical institutions. Early next week, the Health Science Center is expected to unveil details about a new relationship with the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. And it will soon launch a national search for a new dean to lead its School of Medicine.
The timing of the events is coincidental, Health Science Center President Dr. William Henrich said. Nevertheless, the long-term impact of these changes could prove significant for the institution and for San Antonio’s health and bioscience industry.
“We knew we needed a more impactful name,” Henrich said. “The name we have is just too long and cumbersome.”
Henrich said the name change has been in the works for several months. While the Health Science Center will begin to do business publicly under the UT Health San Antonio brand in January, the institution will retain the longer name for official use.
“When we started this process, we realized we had over 100 different names in the marketplace,” Henrich said. “We think this simplification is likely to create less confusion and more access.”
Other institutions, including the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, have taken on the UT Health brand.
While the Health Science is changing its name, it will also have to make a change in leadership at its School of Medicine. Dr. Francisco González-Scarano, who has been dean since 2010, plans to step down at the end of the year.
Henrich, who has informed Health Science Center faculty, staff and residents of González-Scarano’s decision, said he will remain a part of the Health Science Center’s full-time faculty in the Department of Neurology until summer 2017.
“I have great respect for and hold in high esteem the dean,” Henrich said. “He has done an excellent job.”
Henrich said he will first look to identify an interim dean and then form a committee that will launch a national search for a permanent replacement.
“It’s an extremely important position,” Henrich said. “It has enormous responsibility in both the clinical and academic sectors. So we will seek a person of great ability who has the experience and comes highly recommended to do this job.”