UHV School of Nursing helps improve healthcare at regional hospital through research partnership

Denise Neill

A new partnership between the University of Houston-Victoria and DeTar Healthcare System will bring more healthcare research to Victoria and improve the overall quality of patient care, participants said.

Under the agreement, Denise Neill, a professor in the UHV School of Nursing, will spend four hours a week working as the resident research professional at DeTar.

“My research training and experience will allow me to take a deeper look at the data they collect every day,” Neill said.

Hospitals collect volumes of data for mandatory reporting and quality assurance. Analyzing that data on a more minute level will allow DeTar to develop new practices and methods that will help patients at DeTar’s two local hospitals and beyond. Neill also will open the doors for new lines of research by doctors and the nursing staff, expanding the volume of research presently underway at the care provider, and create opportunities for UHV nursing students to participate in research at DeTar.

“We are very excited to partner with UHV on this nursing research initiative that can identify issues to study and apply the results to the practice of nursing,” said Sammie Drehr, chief nursing officer for the DeTar Healthcare System.

As her first duty, Neill is helping to update standardized research policies and procedures for DeTar.

“This is the first step toward establishing a host of research efforts at DeTar,” Neill said. The procedures will allow healthcare personnel at all levels to begin developing new lines of inquiry that will benefit patients across Victoria and beyond.

“In the future, we hope to develop similar relationships with other area hospitals,” said Kathryn Tart, founding dean of the UHV School of Nursing. “Creating new knowledge is one of the great advantages of having advanced nursing degree programs at UHV.”

Established in 2007, the UHV School of Nursing offers registered nurses the chance to earn a Bachelor of Science in Nursing or a Master of Science in Nursing with concentrations in nurse education or nurse administration.

For more information about the nursing school, contact Tammy Whatley at 361-570-4297 or

The University of Houston-Victoria, located in the heart of the Coastal Bend region since 1973 in Victoria, Texas, offers courses leading to more than 80 academic programs in the schools of Arts & Sciences; Business Administration; and Education, Health Professions & Human Development. UHV provides face-to-face classes at its Victoria campus, as well as an instructional site in Katy, Texas, and online classes that students can take from anywhere. UHV supports the American Association of State Colleges and Universities Opportunities for All initiative to increase awareness about state colleges and universities and the important role they have in providing a high-quality and accessible education to an increasingly diverse student population, as well as contributing to regional and state economic development.

Thomas Doyle 361-570-4342