Health Matters A Letter from Our President
Lori Rice-Spearman Headshot
Artie Limmer
The future of health care calls for innovation — not as a buzzword but as a building block.

Innovation — Will it be a Buzzword or Building Block?

In a recent survey by Pew Research, experts — governmental policy, technology businesses, think tanks, and academics and technology networks — commented on changes they foresee in the next decade for health care. It comes as no surprise they tasked innovation as the change agent.

At TTUHSC, innovation and collaboration are critical pillars for our vision to transform health care. As such, they are also the driving force of our five-year strategic plan. You can learn more on our website at

More than 30 years ago, TTUHSC conducted its first telemedicine visit (see “Telemedicine’s Perfect Storm” in Pulse Winter 2021). Through innovation, this practice of distance medicine has evolved into one significantly impacting multiple areas of health care.

The greatest obstacle for telehealth practice, however, was payment for services. COVID changed that. We now have an opportunity to establish TTUHSC as the leading institution in advancing comprehensive telehealth. One of our first steps is to develop FiT labs on all campuses across the enterprise.

Frontiers in Telemedicine (FiT), currently only in Lubbock, sets the standard for telemedicine training across the country. This one-of-a-kind, competency-based training focuses on telehealth treatments’ procedures, technology and business. Students complete academics, hands-on simulated learning and a clinical examination to receive certification credentials.

In addition to this innovative education aspect of telehealth, we’ll also focus on advancing research and implementing telehelealth practices. A critical piece to this goal is enhancing the broadband access to rural areas. TTUHSC is committed to working collaboratively with community and government partners for solutions.

The future of health care calls for innovation — not as a buzzword but as a building block. Consider this excellent description shared by Michael O’Bryan in an online edition of “Wired.” “To be truly innovative, you need a combination of critical, conceptual, creative, reflective, and visionary thinking skills combined with behavioral traits such as curiosity, resilience, the ability to collaborate, and the development of both observation and communication skills.”

Lori Rice-Spearman, PhD, (Health Professions ’86)
Texas Tech university Health Sciences Center