Leveraging data to understand the health needs of communities and underserved populations in Texas was a key theme at Texas State University’s Health Scholar Showcase on February 23, 2018. The event was part of the university’s Translational Health Research Initiative aimed at connecting discoveries in the lab to real-world health issues in clinics and communities.
Fitness trackers help the Special Olympics better understand the needs of its athletes, said Suzanne Anderson, Interim CEO and president, Special Olympics of Texas. Data can also provide insights about continuity of care and the employability of athletes. William Buster, executive vice president of community investments at the St. David’s Foundation said research helps determine the scope of health problems and affected populations for program funding needs. The Foundation works to connect low-income people to a full range of health services.
Walter Horton, Ph.D., associate vice president for research and sponsored programs and chief research officer, Texas State University spoke about the university’s commitment to “research with relevance” to revolutionize health and healthcare delivery. Keynote speaker, Mary Woolley, president and CEO, Research!America, urged scientists to engage with the non-scientific public and Congress to sustain medical progress. “We can and should have evidence-based policymaking,” she stressed.
The showcase also featured more than 50 research projects conducted by Texas State faculty members in topics such as understanding the determinants of efficient drug delivery to children with asthma and utilizing big data to improve health care services with a geographic analysis of farmworkers’ chronic diseases.