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The Mental-Health Research Alliance (MHRA)

Under the auspices of STIMHR, the Mental-Health Research Alliance (MHRA) will be formed. MHRA will consist of mental-health researchers from UTSA as well as draw on community resources including the Southwest Research Consortium (SRC); the University of Texas School of Public Health (SPH); and the Research Imaging Center (RIC), all of which are outlined below. STIMHR will facilitate collaborations among MHRA investigators by developing multidisciplinary and inter-institutional research teams (see “Facilitated Collaborations”). Students will benefit from this arrangement through the screening and mentorship services provided by STIMHR.

Southwest Research Consortium (SRC)

In 1996, UTSA helped form the SRC to facilitate cooperative research and developmental activities among the participating institutions. The charter states that the SWC will:

“encourage the establishment of joint programs and activities involving research and/or education. It will identify scientific and educational needs and foster collaborative efforts to fulfill these needs. The content and value of these activities will be strengthened significantly by the synergistic participation of the SRC institutions.”

Four of the nine institutions that comprise the consortium are medical and mental health research and training institutions that include the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, the Southwest Foundation for Biomedical Research, Brooke Army Medical Center, and Wilford Hall Medical Center. These consortium members and other agencies augment the capability of UTSA to conduct mental health research.

SRC Member Institutions>>

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The University of Texas School of Public Health (SPH)

The San Antonio Regional Campus of the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston School of Public Health offers graduate level courses leading to the Master of Public Health degree. The program includes coursework in the disciplines of Behavioral Science, Biological Sciences, Biometry, Demography, Environmental Sciences, Epidemiology, and Management & Policy Science. The research interests of the students and faculty include minority health, disease control, administration, environmental health, occupational health, and mental health.

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Research Imaging Center (RIC)

The RIC is a University of Texas laboratory dedicated to biomedical imaging research. Current capital equipment includes a fully equipped PET laboratory (GE 4096 scanner, Scanditronix MC-17 cyclotron, and a fully robotic radiochemistry laboratory), a magnetic resonance imaging laboratory (Elscint 1-meter bore Prestige imager and GE 2T CSI imager), an event-related potentials laboratory; and a fully equipped computing laboratory. The facilities also include an ultra-high-resolution, small-bore PET scanner and a magnetoencephalography laboratory.

Visit the RIC Web Site>>

The following external agencies also offer resources to bolster the capability of UTSA to conduct mental health research:

Veterans Evidence-based Research, Dissemination, and Implementation Center (VERDICT)

The mission of VERDICT is to advance knowledge of the factors influencing utilization of research evidence within the VA to improve the mental health of veterans. VERDICT is one of 13 Centers of Excellence funded by the Veterans Health Administration. It was established in 1998 and is housed at the Audie L. Murphy Division of the South Texas Health Care System in San Antonio. VERDICT consists of a multidisciplinary investigative team that includes 16 core investigators approximately evenly divided between those with MD and Ph.D. degrees. Findings from VERDICT’s research projects are being used to advance knowledge management theory, improve the organization and quality of primary care and mental health, inform guideline implementation processes in the VA for a variety of conditions, and improve patient centered care in the VA.

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San Antonio Metropolitan Health District (SAMHD)

The mission of SAMHD is to promote health and prevent disease among the residents and visitors of San Antonio and Bexar County through community health assessment, identification of unmet health needs, development of policies to meet those needs, and assurance that needs are met through the development of public-private partnerships and/or the direct provision of services. The SAMHD is the single public agency charged by state law, city code, and county resolution with the responsibility for public health programs in San Antonio and the unincorporated areas of Bexar County.

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