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Military & Veterans' Issues

UTHSC Appoints Top Air Force Physician to Lead Military Health Institute

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The UT Health Science Center has established a special institute within the research center to integrate military and civilian studies for the benefit of members of the military as well as the local civilian community.

The Military Health Institute will lead innovative medical research, health education and clinical care – working with the military toward improving the health of active duty military personnel, veterans and their families.

Its director is Major General Byron Hepburn, who just retired this spring as the deputy commander of the San Antonio Military Medical Center and commander of the 59th Medical Wing, the largest in the Air Force. Hepburn will build the institute to offer new opportunities for students, residents and fellows at the medical school and at San Antonio Military Health System on Fort Sam Houston. It also will offer collaborative opportunities with the U.S. Dept. of Defense, the Veterans Administration and the National Institutes of health.

Health Science Center President Dr. William Henrich said the medical school has almost 20 programs that exchange students with the military, numerous grants through the DOD, and a vital relationship with the VA for training and clinical care, and the institute will seek to improve and expand those relationships.

In his role as commander of the 59th Medical Wing, Dr. Hepburn directed all of the Air Force Medical Services Operations, which included a $5.1 billion, 43,000-person integrated health care delivery system serving 2.4 million beneficiaries at 75 military treatment facilities around the world.