Email not displaying correctly? View it in your browser.
Academic Update

Volume 5, Issue 8
March 26, 2015

SBMI Collaborates with School of Nursing for New Informatics D.N.P. Option

SBMI is proud to announce that our school will be collaborating with UTHealth's School of Nursing to launch a new Doctor of Nursing Practice (D.N.P.) degree program with a nursing informatics option. This is the only program of its kind offered in the state of Texas and the first group of students can begin this fall.

UTHealth SON

Nursing informatics is the specialty that integrates nursing science with multiple information and analytical sciences to identify, define, manage and communicate data, information, knowledge and wisdom in nursing practice. This field of practice makes a major contribution in achieving patient-centered care and delivering quality health care to the public.

“D.N.P. students will have the opportunity to work in interprofessional teams as they attend courses with SBMI students from a variety of fields and disciplines,” said Associate Professor Juliana J. Brixey, Ph.D., M.P.H., R.N. who holds a joint appointment at SBMI and the nursing school. “This mutual collaboration between UTHealth’s School of Nursing and School of Biomedical Informatics is an example of teamwork and maximizing faculty expertise.”

The informatics option includes a total of 48 credit hours for students who already hold a master’s degree in nursing informatics. For a candidate who does not have a master’s degree in nursing informatics, an additional three-credit course is required for a total of 51 credit hours for completion.

The eight semester D.N.P. program will incorporate core post-master’s D.N.P. curriculum with informatics-focused courses that will be taught by SBMI faculty. Most courses are delivered online; other courses require students to attend classes on campus only once a month on two consecutive days.

Any nursing students who are interested in the program can visit the School of Nursing website to find more information and the online application

Click here to read more

Registration is Open for the UT System 2015 Physical Activity Challenge

Registration for the UT System Physical Activity Challenge (PAC) is now open! PAC is a “moving” challenge sponsored by the UT System Office of Employee Benefits (OEB) which pits all 15 UT System institutions against each other to get fit and win the traveling trophy. The PAC is open to employees & their dependents and we also include students, part-time employees and others who make up our UTHealth community.

UTHealth Physical Activity Challenge

To participate, you can register for the challenge and log your steps or physical activities using a pedometer or other wearable technology. Your goal is to complete at least 10,000 steps per day (or the equivalent in other physical activity), five days per week for six weeks (50,000 steps each week). Your steps & activities must be logged online and you will also complete a free online Health Assessment as part of the PAC.

Employees & their dependents register and log their step conversions online on the Living Well platform. Students, part-time employees or anyone who is not enrolled in a UTHealth employee benefits plan can register online here and log their steps using this step log. Once you register, you can receive a free starter kit.

There is also a Team Option for the PAC which gives participants the support they need to successfully complete the PAC. The winning team in each category gets a trophy as well. Creating a team is not mandatory and involves one additional task for the team captain, only, who must register her or his team at this website: Team Registration.

The PAC will officially begin on April 6 and ends on May 17, but registration will close on April 10. Please contact if you have any questions and to receive your free starter kit.

Voting for the 2014 - 2015 John P. McGovern Award for Outstanding Teaching is Open

SBMI students have nominated four SBMI faculty members for the 2014 – 2015 John P. McGovern Award for Outstanding Teaching: Juliana Brixey, Ph.D., M.P.H., R.N., Craig W. Johnson, Ph.D., Todd Johnson, Ph.D. and Kimberly A. Smith, Ph.D., MT(ASCP). 

SBMI SGO McGovern Nominees

Please visit the SBMI McGovern Award website to see why each faculty member was nominated.

Students can now vote for the next McGovern Award winner from SBMI. All current SBMI students are eligible to vote and an email from Survey Monkey has been sent to those students. Each student will receive a unique web address for voting so please refrain from sharing your link. Voting will close on April 1 at midnight CST. The award will be given to the winning faculty member at SBMI’s commencement ceremony on May 14.

Join Team UTHealth for the Annual March of Dimes® March for Babies

March of DimesThis year’s annual March of Dimes® March for Babies, a four mile walk for stronger, healthier babies, will be on Sunday, April 26 at the University of Houston (2400 Calhoun, 77204). Team UTHealth is looking for students, faculty and staff to join in!

Team UTHealth has set a goal of raising $45,000 for March of Dimes®, an organization that provides funds for lifesaving research for babies, as well as antepartum resources for parents. Each year, nearly half a million babies are born too soon. Help UTHealth meet the $45,000 goal by walking and fundraising.

Walkers who raise or contribute at least $25 will be invited to participate in a team lunch after the walk and will also receive a Team UTHealth shirt. You do not need to be present on April 26 to participate in the event; you also have the option to be a virtual walker, but only those who attend the walk can receive a shirt.

For more information, please contact Marci Dallas regarding the SBMI team. You can also visit the March of Dimes® website to donate to the cause.

CPRIT Fellowship Program is Accepting Applications

Applications for the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT) fellowship program are currently being accepted. 

The CPRIT fellowship is for those seeking a career in cancer prevention and control. Participants will focus on research and learn to ask the important questions while applying cutting edge methods and advancing the field of cancer research. Both postdocs and current doctoral students from UTHealth are eligible to apply.

Details on the fellowship and the online application can be found on the Innovation for Cancer Prevention Research (ICPR) website. Please contact Dr. Patricia Dolan Mullen, 713-500-9658, for further information.

Debt Management/Financial Aid Literacy Session

Office of Student Financial Services is hosting a “Debt Management/Financial Aid Literacy” session on Monday, April 13 for all UTHealth students. The session, which is being presented by a Sallie Mae Senior Executive, will be from 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. in the School of Public Health Auditorium (RAS E-101) and pizza is going to be served.

AHIMA 2015–2016 Student Advisory Council Applications Being Accepted

AHIMA is now accepting applications for the 2015 – 2016 Student Advisory Council. This team of student members represents AHIMA’s student population; helping shape the Association’s future student programs and initiating new activities vital to membership as a whole.

Council Members contribute by providing input and feedback for projects designed for AHIMA student members, developing the program for Student Academy at AHIMA’s annual convention, writing, editing, and creating other content for AHIMA’s student publications and more.

Applications can be submitted online and the deadline is April 3, 2015. You must be a current AHIMA Student Member to apply. New Council Members will be notified by the end of April. If you have any questions, please contact Jessica Heraty at

Student InterCouncil Crawfish Boil

UTHealth’s Student InterCouncil (SIC) is hosting its sixth annual Crawfish Boil on April 10 from 4:30 to 7 p.m. at the Cooley Center Courtyard (1941 East Road, 77054). The event will include a limited supply of free crawfish, hot dogs, corn and beverages.

All current UTHealth students are invited to attend and souvenirs will be given out. Students can also bring one guest and must have both their UTHealth ID and Driver’s License when they check-in at the event. The event is first come, first serve so arrive on time. For more information, visit the SIC website.

Upcoming SBMI Recruiting Events

Several SBMI faculty and staff members will be traveling in the coming months to visit universities and attend conventions to promote our degree programs. We invite any prospective students or alumni in the area to visit us during these events.

SBMI Recruitment

SBMI In The News

  • Bryant Boutwell is the John P. McGovern Professor of Oslerian Medicine at the McGovern Center for Humanities and Ethics and a Distinguished Teaching Professor for UTHealth’s Medical School. Dr. Boutwell recently wrote a blog focused on big data and profiled SBMI.  
  • SBMI Professor Dean Sittig, Ph.D. was quoted in a article recently regarding graphs and their impact on standards across healthcare IT development.

  • also quoted Dr. Sittig on the issue of EHR system lab graph inadequacies in a recent article.

  • Dr. Sittig was also featured in a Managed Care article that focused on e-iatrogenesis; patient harm caused at least in part by the application of health information technology.

  • An Austin American-Statesman blog contribution on the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) recognized SBMI Professor Lex Frieden M.A., LLD (hon) as he was a chief author of the ADA.

  • The new edition of SBMI Professor James Langabeer’s, M.B.A., Ph.D. textbook Health Care Operations Management was recently released and is now available at retailers.

Mark Your Calendar

Save the Date

April 1 3-D Modeling-based Decision Support for Optimizing Quality of Life following Breast Reconstruction
Mia Markey
SBMI Research Seminar at UCT 1414, 12 p.m.
April 8 Semantic processing of clinical text: methods and applications
Guergana Savova
SBMI Research Seminar at UCT 1414, 12 p.m.
April 15 Knowledge representation for patient safety reports
Chen Liang
SBMI Research Seminar at UCT 1414, 12 p.m.
April 22 Concept Map versus Mind map: Contributions to a Conceptual Analysis of Social Network Analysis
Katherine Pepper
SBMI Research Seminar at UCT 1414, 12 p.m.
April 29 Construction and Evaluation of a Vaccine Information Ontology for Patients
Muhammad Amith
Use of a Custom Registry for Coumadin Management Across Inpatient and Ambulatory Settings
Barbara Berkovich
SBMI Research Seminar at UCT 1414, 12 p.m.
May 4 SBMI Career 2015 (Poster Session and Alumni Panel)
Fayez S. Sarofim Research Building (IMM) Lobby
(1825 Pressler Street Houston, TX 77030)
May 14 SBMI Commencement Ceremony
Fayez S. Sarofim Research Building (IMM) Beth Robertson Auditorium
(1825 Pressler Street Houston, TX 77030), 4 p.m.

Important Dates

April 10 PhD - Last day to defend dissertation
April 17 MS - Titles of state of science/capstone & dissertations due to Office of Academic Affairs
April 24 MS - State of science/capstone drafts to Advising Committee for review
May 1 Last Class Day for spring semester
May 1 Student-completed work to faculty for incomplete grades from summer 2014 semester
May 4 SBMI Connect 2015 and Poster Session
May 4 - 8 Final Exams & Evaluations
May 14 SBMI Commencement

SBMI LogoOffice of Academic Affairs
7000 Fannin, Ste. 650 Houston, TX
Phone: 713-500-3591

Facebook YouTube TwitterBlog Icon LinkedIn Pinterest Flickr