The University of Texas Medical Branch (UTMB) is a component of the University of Texas System located in Galveston, Texas, United States, about 50 miles (80 km) southeast of Downtown Houston. It is a health care complex spanning 85 acres (344,000 m2), with seven hospitals, 13,000 employees and an assortment of specialized clinics, centers and institutes, including a medical school. The medical school is the oldest one west of the Mississippi River.
It was established in 1891 with one building and fewer than 50 students. Today UTMB's campus has grown to more than 70 buildings and an enrollment of more than 2,500 students. The 84-acre (340,000 m2) campus includes four schools, three institutes for advanced study, a major medical library, seven on-site hospitals (including an affiliated Shriners Burns Hospital), a network of clinics that provide a full range of primary and specialized medical care, a comprehensive medical library and numerous research facilities.
Since its founding, UTMB has served indigent or poor populaces, such as prisoners, the homeless, and single mothers, including patients with ailments that are very expensive to treat (such as burns). It is one of only a handful of hospitals in southeastern Texas that does so. UTMB's Emergency Room at John Sealy Hospital is certified as a Level I Trauma Center and serves as the lead trauma facility for the nine-county region in southeast Texas. It is one of only three Level I Trauma centers in the Greater Houston area.
In 2003 UTMB received funding to construct a $150 million Galveston National Biocontainment Laboratory on its campus, one of the few non-military facilities of this level. It houses several Biosafety Level 4 research laboratories, where studies on highly infectious materials can be carried out safely.
It has schools of medicine, nursing, allied health professions, and a graduate school of biomedical sciences, as well as an institute for medical humanities.
UTMB also has a major contract with the Texas Department of Corrections to provide medical care to inmates at all TDC sites in the eastern portion of Texas. UTMB also has similar contracts with local governments needing inmate medical care.
UTMB is currently in the process of recovering from the effects of 2008's Hurricane Ike.
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