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Student & Alumni Achievements

Student & Alumni Achievements

Texas Alumnus Appointed President of Physicians for a National Health Program

Dr. Robert Zarr, an alumnus of The University of Texas School of Public Health, was recently appointed president-elect of the organization Physicians for a National Program (PNHP). Dr. Zarr earned an MD at Baylor College of Medicine and an MPH at the School of Public Health, which is part of The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth).

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Dr. Zarr is a board-certified pediatrician at Unity Health Care in Washington, where he cares for a low-income and immigrant population. The clinic is a federally qualified health center. Dr. Zarr will be presiding over sessions of PNHP’s Annual Meeting in New Orleans on November 15 and will fully assume the office of president on January 1, 2015.

“We are really about a single issue—which is, in my opinion and the opinions of thousands of other physicians around the country the most important first step—we’ve got to eliminate this financial barrier to seeking care,” says Dr. Zarr. Dr. Zarr mentioned the Dallas Morning News article written by the nephew of Ebola patient Mr. Thomas Eric Duncan, which mentions that Mr. Duncan was uninsured. “Whether we want to face that fact or not, we know that it plays a very important part in delaying care and in receiving care. Once a person takes the initiative to receive care, it is undoubtedly a factor that millions—right now we are still at 42 million—Americans are still uninsured, which is nearly one in six. That is a lot of people and is a crisis.”

“The School of Public Health has really given me a good foundation for the research I do, for the public-health mindedness of my work—even as a physician but now as an advocate, as a leader in an organization that advocates for equal access to health care — it really is so important. An MPH is really a fantastic supplement to any physician’s career really.” Read the full story here.