Amy’s House in Temple receiving first guest

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FOX 44 News | Dean Wetherbee

A house built specifically to help adult transplant patients is receiving its first guest Monday night.

Construction of Amy’s House started in early 2020 in Temple, sponsored by the Central Texas chapter of TRIO, which stands for Transplant Recipients International Organization.

TRIO raised the funding for Amy’s House in part with help from the Temple Health and Bioscience District.

The house is near Baylor Scott and White Medical Center. There are eight bedrooms, each with two beds and a private bathroom.

Executive Director Jim Fly says the house will normally be able to help up to eight transplant patients and their families in a communal setting, but because of COVID-19 they are limited to one or two families right now.

Amy’s House is named after Amy Henderson Firth, who died in November of 2012. She was an organ donor and lives on through more than 70 other people.

Temple College receives nearly $140,000 in grants

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November 2, 2020
Killeen Daily Herald | Joel Valley

Temple College announced it has received nearly $140,000 in grant funding to support students involved in its STEM-related programs.

The Temple Health and Bioscience District awarded Temple College $20,000 for high school students participating in the Texas Bioscience Institute Middle College Program, while the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board granted $119,171 to the nursing program.

The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board’s grant — awarded to offset the impact of COVID-19 on workforce training — will be used to purchase additional simulation equipment: five patient simulators, a bed, laptops and simulator software.

“Receiving these Nursing Innovation Grant funds will allow us to accommodate social distancing requirements and the growth in our associate degree nursing program,” Tracey Cooper, executive director of nursing, said in a news release.

Funding also will be used to purchase equipment used in the teaching of catheterization, intravenous infusions and proper acquisition of medications.

Temple College has notably strived to involve area youth with Science, Technology, Engineering and Math-related programs, and spokeswoman Ellen Davis said the Temple Health and Bioscience District-issued grant will help further that cause.

She noted how $12,000 of the grant will be dedicated to high school students who are interested in participating in the program — courses that currently enroll 130 students from 12 area school districts.

Dr. Shelley Pearson, the associate vice president for health professions at Temple College, said these scholarships will benefit students unable to afford the related tuition the most.

“The Texas Bioscience Institute Middle College program is a great opportunity for area high school students to earn a significant portion of a four-year college degree before they graduate from high school,” Pearson said in a news release. “We are very grateful to the Texas Health and Bioscience District for investing in the future of our community with scholarships and financial support.”

Davis said the Temple Health and Bioscience District awarded $13,450 to 28 students just last year, and Thomas Baird — the Temple Health and Bioscience District board of directors’ chair — emphasized the importance of investing in local youth.

“Our board believes we must invest in our young people in our area, so we will have the doctors and scientists we will need in the future … to have a vibrant economy and a high quality of life for our whole community,” Baird said.

Temple Bioscience District joins Texas health consortium

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October 5, 2020
Temple Daily Telegram | By Shane Monaco

A new statewide collaboration between the academic, public and private sectors to fight the coronavirus and any future pandemics will see representation from Temple.

The Temple Health & Bioscience District has announced that it will be a part of the Texas Global Health Security Innovation Consortium, which will hold its virtual launch Tuesday morning. The consortium will provide resources for companies and groups currently fighting the pandemic, as well as for those aiming to combat future pandemics.

Tami Annable, executive director of the district, said she was excited the consortium asked her organization to be a part of this project and provide aid for work in this field.

“Just to know that Temple, Texas, is having a hand in making these decisions, and making this grow by adding our contacts to the pool is really exciting,” Annable said. “We are making our mark on COVID-19. And that is big — because we need to.”

The district will be one of more than 60 partners with the consortium, including universities, incubators, investors, chambers of commerce and medical companies.

Industrial Genetics, a member of the Bioscience District, is also one of the consortium members and is currently working on environmental testing.

Annable said the hope for the project is to become prepared for these future pandemics, as well as the coronavirus, by creating this infrastructure now so they don’t hit the nation “in-between the eyes”.

“What we do is listen to a 15 to 20 minute presentation from these companies, and they have an ask,” she said.  “The ask might be that they need an engineer or it might be they need contacts with the governor’s office. Then a team would get together and help them with that ask.”

Dr. Lisa McDonald, director of health care at the Austin Technology Incubator who is working with the consortium, said that while many of its partners are located in larger cities, she felt it was important to get smaller communities like Temple on board as well.

She said these smaller communities may have different viewpoints on how to solve specific issues compared to larger cities like Austin or Dallas.

While the consortium will officially launch Tuesday, McDonald said the consortium has been helping its members since it started to form in February.

“We began having conversations in February about the need to pull together resources across the state of Texas that were working on health security-related technology,” McDonald said. “We have a lot of those resources here in the state of Texas, but we wanted to think about doing the legwork to pull them together under one overarching organization so that innovators developing technologies can be paired with the resources they need, and ecosystem partners that have those resources to give can be put in contact with innovators.”

McDonald said the consortium is currently conducting surveys with various companies and organizations to see how they can be helped, with about 90 interested parties so far.