DRC helps further connect ARPA-H to DFW

By Catie George, Manager, Communications and Storytelling

When the staff of the Advanced Research Projects Agency for Health (ARPA-H) convened in Dallas-Fort Worth for a quarterly meeting in January, the Dallas Regional Chamber joined them for listening sessions and facilitated connections to deepen the agency’s impact in the region.

DFW ARPA-H Customer Experience Hub “spoke” members convene for a listening session.

ARPA-H supports high-impact research by funding transformative biomedical and health breakthroughs. The agency selected Texas as the home of one of three national hubs in October following a competitive bid process, announcing the Customer Experience Hub’s physical site to be located in Dallas’ Pegasus Park. The DRC provided key support for the state’s collaborative bid effort.

“We are the heart of a national effort,” said Kelly Cloud, Vice President of Economic Development-Life Sciences for the DRC. “This process is about tapping into a network of networks to find out what the true problems are and to create solutions.”

As the ARPA-H Customer Experience Hub is focused on developing better health outcomes for all people, the DRC sought to show the ARPA-H team the existing diversity of Dallas-Fort Worth and the community’s work to create a more equitable health care system for the region.

ARPA-H hubs are supported by a consortium with a nationwide network of “spokes,” or partners, with varying expertise, community voices, and geographic spread to support the agency’s success. Part of the DRC’s engagement with ARPA-H’s visit was to convene potential spoke members to participate in a listening session.

The DRC supported a visit by the ARPA-H team to For Oak Cliff, a local nonprofit focusing on empowering and supporting residents, where DRC staff detailed the chamber’s work in public policy, economic development and life sciences, and community engagement.

Latosha Herron Bruff, Senior Vice President of Diversity, Inclusion & Community Engagement, remarked on the similarities between ARPA-H’s mission and that of the DRC.

The ARPA-H team on a Cook Children’s tour, admiring the Lego model of the campus, following listening sessions with “spoke” members.

“We always talk about building tomorrow together at the DRC. We think about tomorrow’s problems today. This is closely related to how ARPA-H thinks of health care,” Herron Bruff said. “The link between the DRC and ARPA-H is how we think about the future now. To me, this work with ARPA-H shows how we are caring for all people today, for tomorrow.”

The visit also included a trip to Fort Worth to visit established spoke Cook Children’s Health Care System, a top-ranked network for children’s health, with other spoke members of equal reach to share and learn.

Several of the DRC’s community partners were present throughout the engagement.

“The DRC builds inclusive projects by prioritizing the voice of our communities,” said Cloud. “Hearing from the experts who are involved in their relevant communities and know what is needed is invaluable.”

ARPA-H also shared a bit about their work in assisting the next generation of health care breakthroughs.

“Kudos to ARPA-H for understanding how important it is to get it right the first time and to prioritize the voices of the community. And this is not something we’re doing in isolation; this is something we’re not doing for the community, but it is something we are doing with the community,” said Herron Bruff. “They didn’t have to guess what the community was experiencing or the hurdles or the challenges, because they had people sitting around the table telling them and explaining that to them.”

To learn more about the ARPA-H Customer Experience Hub located in Dallas at Pegasus Park and the DRC, read our coverage of ARPA-H.