Texas Health Journal: The Maternal and Infant Health Issue

When I began at The University of Texas System, one of the first projects that we launched as part of our new Population Health initiative was the Texas Collaborative for Healthy Mothers and Babies (TCHMB). The TCHMB, which is funded by the Texas Department of State Health Services, is a statewide collaborative of health care providers, scientists, hospitals, state agencies, advocates and insurers whose goal is to improve maternal and birth outcomes in Texas.

That’s a straightforward goal to articulate. It is not a straightforward goal to achieve. For us to make real progress, we will have to work across disciplines and sectors. We will have to look beyond the walls of the exam room to the social, economic, and environmental context in which our mothers live and our babies are born. We will have to address complex and hard to change policies, systems, and incentive structures. 

In this issue of Texas Health Journal, we look at what some of our UT people are doing to move the needle on these fronts. We go from San Antonio, where doctors are simulating obstetric emergencies to prepare for real ones, to Austin, where we are helping to redesign the prenatal care system for underserved mothers, to the Rio Grande Valley, where we are working to help women control when they get pregnant. In Dallas and Galveston our researchers are trying to solve the mystery of preterm birth. In Houston, our specialists are working to preserve fertility in patients undergoing harsh treatments for cancer. 

It is a privilege to share these stories with you. I hope you are as inspired by them as I am.

David Lakey, MD
Vice Chancellor for Health Affairs and Chief Medical Officer
The University of Texas System