Overview of Information Technology at UTHealth
UTHealth Help Desk:
The Information Technology department (IT) provides support for the UTHealth by planning, developing, delivering and supporting reliable, timely, secure and cost-effective systems and services to transport, process and store information throughout the institution with guidance from the Information Technology Governance Council.
IT is the central information technology service provider for the campus. The Medical School, School of Public Health and Harris County Psychiatric Center have IT departments which provide specialized IT services for those entities. These IT departments have a ‘dotted line’ reporting responsibility to the Chief Information Officer (CIO) who leads IT. The School of Biomedical Informatics also has its own IT staff for special support unique to a school that teaches information technology in a health sciences setting. The Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences (GSBS) has onsite IT staff and also receives support from Academic Technology.
The needs of research can be so unique as to require dedicated technology specialists. While not reporting to the central IT department, these support staff are still responsible for following UTHealth policy and generally accepted IT standards, policies and procedures. As appropriate, researcher’s technology needs can be handled by Academic Technology or a school’s IT department.
View the IT Organization Chart (PDF)
Campus IT Departments
Office of the Chief Information Officer
Amar Yousif, vice president and chief information officer for UTHealth, provides leadership and oversight for the Information Technology (IT) at UTHealth. The CIO is the primary liaison to other University of Texas components, UT System and the State of Texas Department of Information Resources (DIR) in Austin. The CIO represents IT on various councils, committees and task forces.
Academic Technology implements and maintains technology solutions to support education, research, and clinics. These solutions include:
- Development of effective online learning focusing on andragogy/pedagogy
- Development of educational materials
- Creation of custom illustrations and other courseware graphics
- Online courses via the Canvas Learning Management System
- Online Continuing Education System (Canvas Catalog)
- Document collaboration via UTH-Share (UTHealth’s Google for education)
- Development of Custom Web Applications and databases
- Cloud service integration with enterprise systems
The administrative support team works with the CIO and IT department heads to provide coordinated administrative support to the entire IT department.
Administrative support includes:
- Maintaining budgets and financial records
- Processing personnel transactions
- Maintaining departmental files
- Coordinating activities and follow-up for the CIO
Led by Rachael Foiles, administrative manager.
The Administrative Technology group works in collaboration with the UTHealth Administrative business areas to provide enterprise-wide technology leadership, strategy, application selection, development, implementation and support for solutions encompassing:
- Student Information Management
- Financial Management
- Human Resource Management
- Records Management Services
- Help Desk and IT Training Services
Led by Connie Wooldridge, executive director of administrative technology.
Client Support Services
The IT Help Desk is a central call center providing customers with level-one technical assistance and support for computer systems, hardware, and software. This group:
- Logs all queries received in person, over the phone, and by email.
- Communicates with customers to diagnose issues and walks them through a problem-solving process.
- Dispatches assistance when needed.
- Follows up with customers and tracks resolutions.
IT Training designs and maintains training solutions to support university employees on software systems, applications, and tools. This group:
- Provides training needs analyses and training project management.
- Designs and develops templates and instructor-led, online, and OJT training solutions.
- Tests and maintains training deliverables in a variety of formats (online courseware, job aids, quick reference guides, training manuals, etc.).
- Administers their courseware in the learning management system.
- Manages a suite of dedicated computer training rooms.
Led by David Posado, manager of client support services, a component of the Administrative Technology group.
The role of Clinical Technology is to:
- Promote the use of technology in a clinical setting,
- Coordinate campus activities in this area and
- Provide campus-wide clinical applications.
Clinical Technology is still largely fragmented among practice plans and HCPC. As technology supports consolidation of services into a single provider, this fragmentation will decrease. At present, Clinical Technology is largely a collaborative effort providing central direction and services.
Led by Dr. James Griffiths, executive director and clinical technology officer.
Communications Technical Services
Communications Technology Services implements, maintains and operates the campus (local and remote) and clinic networks. Communications Technology also provides all voice related services to include digital phones, voice messaging, FAX and credit card technologies. This department also provide support for all enterprise video technologies to include WebEx, Cisco Meeting Server, and video recording service through Panopto. Internet connectivity is supported through a variety of different service providers, by this team.
Led by Derek Drawhorn, executive director of communications technology.
Data Center Operations and Support Services
The Data Center Operations group operates the university’s primary data centers. The group also administers standards for other data centers on campus.
The primary data center is staffed 24/7. Unix, Windows, storage and cloud support teams provide technical support for servers and infrastructure Standard or custom hosting services for departmental systems are administered by this team. Key areas of enterprise-wide support include:
- Clinical and Healthcare Technology Systems
- Email Services
- Database Services
- Research and Educational platforms
Led by Derek Drawhorn, executive director of communications technology and chief technology officer.
User Experience and Support
The User Experience and Support group is coordinated through a collaboration of the McGovern Medical School IT department (MSIT), the School of Public Health IT department and the central IT group. These three groups together set standards and coordinate activities in behalf of customers in general administration, Physicians Billing System, McGovern Medical School, Cizik School of Nursing, School of Dentistry and the School of Public Health.
Led by Bassel Choucair, executive director of information technology for the McGovern Medical School at UTHealth.
Project Support Office
Provides support for IT projects across the campus. Activities include:
- Project management
- Development and application of a system development methodology (SDM)
- Project planning
- Project budgeting
- Project monitoring
- Coordination of projects with IT and Procurement
Project managers are assigned projects by the CIO.
Security & Disaster Recovery Planning
The IT Security and Disaster Recovery Planning group provides:
- Security awareness training,
- IT security policy development,
- Disaster recovery planning for critical services,
- Firewall services,
- Intrusion detection and intrusion prevention services,
- Intellectual Property Protection and
- Network and server vulnerability scanning.
IT Security does not have responsibility for application security. Application security development resides with the developers and administration of application security belongs primarily with application owners.
Led by Amar Yousif, vice president and chief information officer.
University Web Services collaboratively supports electronic communication efforts for the campus by utilizing the integrated marketing initiative to create a common public “face” and consistent “voice” for the institution. Staff serve with efficiency and courtesy to build online resources that are innovative and attractive, yet widely accessible and user-friendly.
Primary areas of responsibility:
- Build and maintain the health science center’s institutional web gateways (the main public pages and the university-wide intranet, Inside UTHealth);
- Manage institutional applications and resources such as the People Directory, University Calendar and Campus Maps;
- Track and report on university Web analytic trends;
- Facilitate creation of the health science center’s web standards and ensure those standards are implemented campus-wide;
- In collaboration with the Office of Public Affairs, maintain responsibility for several campus emergency communication channels, including the university emergency website, emergency Twitter channel and the campus digital signage system;
- Create and maintain responsibility for a large number of institutional, overarching campus websites.
Led by Jennifer Canup, executive director of University Web Services