McCoy College Professor Awarded Texas State MIRG Grant to Study Trauma Centers in Texas

Dr. Francis Méndez Mediavilla, Professor of Quantitative Methods (McCoy College) and holder of the Gowens Professorship, and Dr. Eduardo Pérez Román (Ingram School of Engineering) were awarded $30,000 from the Texas State University Multidisciplinary Internal Research Grant (MIRG) Program. The funded study, entitled “Ensuring an Accessible Trauma System in Texas,” will analyze the location of trauma care centers in Texas, with a goal of improving their geographic configuration.

Trauma care centers are hospitals that provide specialized medical and nursing care to patients with traumatic injuries, ranging from injuries sustained in personal or work environments to those from motor vehicle accidents and natural disasters. Texas is home to 280 state-designated trauma centers. Trauma centers do not replace existing hospitals and emergency departments; instead, they complement existing medical services by providing services to treat serious injuries. The goal of this research is to derive a scalable methodology to plan and improve the trauma system configuration in Texas.

Adequate trauma health care services are especially difficult to provide in rural areas in Texas due to population demographics, a relative lack of healthcare providers, and extensive travel distances. Despite random variation being the main characteristic of the operation of a trauma care center, current research has not considered uncertainty when addressing the question of location and provision. This research proposes extending existing models to consider more realistic assumptions, such as uncertainty of demand, multi-type demand, and facilities multi-level settings using rural healthcare as a test bed.