Dr. Velasquez Selected Keynote Presenter for 2013 Healthcare Research Symposium

AUSTIN, Texas – Dr. Mary Marden Velasquez, Professor and Associate Dean for Research at The University of Texas at Austin School of Social Work, has been invited to deliver a keynote address during the 2013 Healthcare Research Symposium, Innovation in Healthcare Delivery Systems: Focus on Social Issues.

Hosted by the McCombs School of Business at UT Austin, the 4th annual symposium will be held April 11-12, 2013, at the AT&T Executive Education and Conference Center, 1900 University Avenue.

Professor Velasquez directs the Center for Social Work Research (CSWR) at the School of Social Work and the Health Behavior Research and Training Institute, a unit of CSWR. Her keynote address during the 2013 Healthcare Research Symposium will focus on the challenge of translating research findings in the area of behavioral health into evidence-based clinical practices that are efficiently disseminated and widely adopted. Velasquez will discuss promising innovations in the area of behavioral health that can lead to reduced healthcare utilization and more than offset the cost of providing the interventions.

Her presentation will feature a line of research funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that has developed, tested and disseminated evidence-based behavioral health interventions in healthcare settings throughout Texas and nationwide.

Velasquez plans to highlight three currently funded research studies and a number of implementation projects being conducted by researchers at Health Behavior Research and Training Institute (HBRT). Settings for current studies include the University Medical Center at Brackenridge, Harris County Hospital District, Methodist Hospital, Medical College of Georgia and Grady Health System. Target health behaviors include injury prevention, substance abuse, smoking, prevention of fetal alcohol spectrum disorder, and other behaviors leading to chronic disease. School of Social Work researchers include Kirk von Sternberg, Ph.D., associate professor and associate director, HBRT; and Craig Field, Ph.D., research associate professor.

The 4th Annual Healthcare Research Symposium is inter-disciplinary and intra-disciplinary and includes behavioral, social, organizational, technological, communications, and policy research aimed at creating positive changes in the healthcare system that apply locally, nationally, and globally. The symposium is viewed as a critical step in building a university-wide scholarly initiative in the area of innovation in healthcare delivery systems.