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University of Texas Medical Branch selected to manage Center for Polar Medical Operations
Date:7/24/2012

GALVESTON, Texas Effective immediately, the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston will manage medical operations for the United States Antarctic Program. UTMB will be working for the National Science Foundation as a subcontractor for Lockheed Martin's Antarctic Support Contract.

"This is a tremendous opportunity for UTMB," said Dr. David L. Callender, president of UTMB. "We are no strangers to the ice, having operated there for the last decade, providing critical medical support on occasion. This new agreement represents an expansion of the work we're already doing."

Dr. Scott Parazynski, former NASA astronaut, will be the Chief Medical Officer for the new Center for Polar Medical Operations at UTMB.

"Antarctica is the most remote and extreme place on earth to live and work," said Parazynski. "It's our responsibility and privilege to assure those who are traveling there are physically up to the challenge and have the medical support they need once they get there."

The multi-year contract is worth up to $2 billion for Lockheed Martin if all options are exercised. UTMB's contract runs through September 2016 with options to renew in two-year increments through March 2025. If all options are exercised the university could realize $60 million.

UTMB has been providing telemedicine services for the United States Antarctic Program for more than a decade for the previous contractor. Under the agreement with Lockheed Martin, UTMB Health will establish a Center for Polar Medical Operations in Galveston to manage health services at the three stations operated by the U.S. McMurdo Station, Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station and Palmer Station as well as numerous seasonal field camps and two marine research vessels operated year round.

Each of the polar stations has a physician and McMurdo has the equivalent of a level four urgent care center with capability for radiology and laboratory work, as we
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Contact: Maureen Balleza
m.balleza@utmb.edu
409-772-8785
University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston
Source:Eurekalert

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