updated 12/6/2010 3:45:43 PM ET 2010-12-06T20:45:43

HOUSTON, Dec. 6, 2010 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Officials at Houston Baptist University and Memorial Hermann Healthcare System today announced a strategic alliance that will enhance the University's nursing degree programs, name Memorial Hermann as the official healthcare provider for HBU athletics, and provide greater accessibility to the Memorial Hermann Wellness Center for HBU's student body. For Memorial Hermann, the agreement is made on behalf of Memorial Hermann Southwest Hospital and the Memorial Hermann Sports Medicine Institute.

"This partnership represents the continuation of a long-standing relationship between HBU and our colleagues at Memorial Hermann Southwest," explained Dr. Robert B. Sloan, Jr., President, HBU. "It reflects our mutual commitment to quality medical care and to the physical, emotional, and spiritual well-being of our neighbors in the southwest Houston community." Sloan continued, "This alliance extends and exemplifies HBU's Vision by diversifying the University's programs and offerings as we continue to grow our national influence and blaze a trail for Christian universities in today's modern era."

George Gaston, CEO, Memorial Hermann Southwest Hospital, stated, "The alliance between HBU's nursing program and the nursing staff at Memorial Hermann Southwest allows students to take the knowledge they've gained from the classroom and put it into simulated, real-life situations. This means better trained nurses upon graduation and we see this as a solid step towards future employment. This partnership brings together a nationally recognized healthcare organization with a nationally acclaimed university to benefit the Houston community."

The agreement, which is effective immediately, provides students who are enrolled in HBU's School of Nursing and Allied Health with unique hands-on opportunities to work side-by-side with the nursing staff at Memorial Hermann Southwest. Presently, it is the only nursing degree program in Houston that provides real-world training that may not be gained through in-class experience alone. The students will have access to the hospital's emergency room (the second busiest in Houston), lab equipment and state-of-the-art simulated robotic technology.   Through the agreement stipulations, Memorial Hermann is named as the official healthcare provider for HBU athletics, whereby Memorial Hermann Sports Medicine Institute affiliated physicians will provide a weekly orthopedic clinic at HBU, easy access to all clinical specialties and services at Memorial Hermann Southwest, physical examinations of HBU athletes prior to the start of the fall term, and on-site physician coverage for all HBU home athletic events. Sports Medicine Institute physicians and their academic partners at The University of Texas Medical School at Houston serve as team physicians for the Houston Texans, Houston Rockets, U.S. Ski Team, Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo, and many Houston-area high schools.

Their weekly sports training orthopedic clinic will help University athletes better prepare for NCAA Division 1 competitions by bringing the sports medicine and human performance expertise of sports medicine physicians to the HBU campus. 

HBU students now will have the opportunity to join the Memorial Hermann Wellness Center, Houston's most complete medical and fitness health facility, at reduced student rates, a portion of which will be subsidized by HBU. Student access to the Memorial Hermann Wellness Center significantly enhances the University's current array of student health services, which are designed to enhance and protect the health and wellness of HBU students, faculty and staff. Located adjacent to the HBU campus and Memorial Hermann Southwest, the 80,000-square-foot Wellness Center offers a wide variety of health, fitness, therapeutic and psychological well-being programs. Further, HBU's on-campus clinic will be supported by Memorial Hermann Southwest physicians, effective Spring 2011.

About Houston Baptist University:

Houston Baptist University is an independent, private Christian liberal arts institution with a diverse student body. The University is dedicated to the development of the intellect, the moral character and the spiritual lives of its students. It has access to all the cultural advantages of one of the largest metropolitan centers in the country. For more information about the University, please visit www.hbu.edu .

About Memorial Hermann:

An integrated health system, Memorial Hermann is known for world-class clinical expertise, patient-centered care, leading edge technology, and innovation. The system, with its exceptional medical staff and 20,000 employees, serves southeast Texas and the greater Houston community. Memorial Hermann 's 11 hospitals include three hospitals in the Texas Medical Center and eight suburban hospitals. The system also operates comprehensive cancer centers, the LifeFlight air ambulance program, the area's only burn treatment center, numerous imaging, sports medicine and rehabilitation, surgery centers, a wellness center, a chemical dependency treatment center, a home health agency, a retirement community and a nursing home. To learn more, visit www.memorialhermann.org or call 713.222.CARE.

The Memorial Hermann logo is available at http://www.globenewswire.com/newsroom/prs/?pkgid=3095

CONTACT:  FKM Public Relations
          For Houston Baptist University
          Danielle Kernell
          Mobile: 281.536.5755

© Copyright 2012, GlobeNewswire, Inc. All Rights Reserved


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