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Dallas selected as one of three national hubs for new medical innovation federal agency


Dallas selected as one of three national hubs for new medical innovation federal agency

Sep 26, 2023 | 6:39 pm ET
By Maia Pandey
Dallas selected as one of three national hubs for new medical innovation federal agency
An aerial view of Dallas. (Getty Images/iStockphoto)

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Dallas will be one of three national hubs for a new federal agency pursuing “game-changing breakthroughs” in science and medicine, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced Tuesday.

The Advanced Research Projects Agency for Health, or ARPA-H, is an effort by the Biden administration to prevent and treat diseases like cancer, Alzheimer’s disease and diabetes. Along with its other national hubs in Cambridge, Mass. and the Washington, D.C. area, ARPA-H will include a network of “spokes,” or local health institutions, across all 50 states.

​​“By using a hub-and-spoke model, we’re creating efficiencies that we could not otherwise achieve, including reaching patients, providers, and other stakeholders quickly,” ARPA-H Director Renee Wegrzyn said in a statement.

Dallas has been named the customer experience hub of the agency, tasked with developing health solutions that are “accessible, needed and readily adopted,” according to the release. Part of this work will include diversifying clinical trials and reaching demographically representative patient populations. Advanced Technology International, a public-service nonprofit that works primarily with the Department of Defense, will manage the Dallas location.

It was not immediately clear how many jobs would be created by the hub.

In a Tuesday statement, Gov. Greg Abbott called the Dallas-Fort Worth region the “ideal location” for a national hub, given its growing health sciences industry.

“Texas is a national leader in healthcare research and innovation, solving many of our nation’s — and the world’s — scientific challenges,” Abbott said.

Dallas’s selection comes more than a year after a group of U.S. representatives from Texas and U.S. Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, authored a letter urging Xavier Becerra, U.S. secretary of health & human services, to bring the agency to Texas. Earlier this year, a bipartisan group of U.S. representatives from Texas also signed onto a letter advocating for ARPA-H in the state, along with a similar letter signed by both Cornyn and U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas.

“Texas has the infrastructure, diversity, and technology that ARPA-H requires to thrive, including the largest medical center in the world, and the largest military medical complex in the country,” the letter said.

Though the agency ultimately chose Dallas, the world’s largest medical center, Texas Medical Center, is actually located in Houston — which Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner noted last year when he pushed for the agency to be housed in his home city.

However, while the three national hub cities will be epicenters of the research, ARPA-H has noted that reaching beyond these cities and states is a key goal of the agency.

“ARPANET-H is a testament to our commitment to inclusivity and innovation in health care,” Becerra said in the Tuesday release. “With its vast array of cutting-edge health capabilities, this dynamic nationwide network embodies our unwavering mission to propel forward health outcomes in every corner of the country – and beyond.”

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