AUSTIN, Texas — A nationally recognized leader in psychiatric care and research will steer the landmark partnership between Huston-Tillotson University and the Dell Medical School at The University of Texas at Austin, bringing new health resources — especially mental health resources — to historically underserved residents of East Austin and other parts of Travis County, the universities announced Tuesday.
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Dr. William Lawson comes to Austin from the Howard University College of Medicine in Washington, D.C., where he served as professor and chair of the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences. He has been published in more than 180 publications, received numerous federal and local grants, and served as chief of psychiatry in Arkansas for the Veterans Administration and chief medical officer for the Tennessee Department of Mental Health.
He will manage what will be known as the Sandra Joy Anderson Community Health and Wellness Center at Huston-Tillotson, a historically black university in East Austin. His team, working at both HT and UT Austin, will work to increase access to mental health care for underserved communities across Travis County and to promote research that will help reveal the causes of disparities in care. And his expertise in providing psychiatric and other health services to incarcerated individuals will allow for innovative partnerships that improve care in Travis County jail settings, decreasing the cost of that care for taxpayers while making communities across the county healthier.