Faculty Profile for Dr. Jose Alberto Betancourt
Biography and EducationDr. Betancourt is an experienced Public Health professional in the area of innovative solutions to current and emerging public health challenges facing our Nation and our world. He is a retired U.S. Army Medical Service Corps Officer and Aviator (qualified on the UH-1 'Huey' and UH-60A 'Blackhawk' helicopters) with over 24 years of supervisory and management experience in the public health arena, specifically in the areas of leadership and operations, contracts and procurement, logistics, personnel administration and budgeting. Dr. Betancourt is an adaptive and innovative leader with the ability to successfully plan, coordinate and execute a multitude of wholly disassociated programs and attain successful outcomes in all instances.
He previously served as the primary program manager responsible for the design, development and implementation of a comprehensive Behavioral Health program utilizing tele-medicine/ tele-health technology for use by Soldiers and Family Members across the Army. He served as the strategic plans and design officer for an infrastructure which utilizes unique technology to increase access to Soldiers and Family Members suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, Traumatic Brain Injury and other behavioral health challenges.
Dr. Betancourt coordinated and authored the current draft of the comprehensive Concept of Operations for the Army Tele-Behavioral Health Program depicting in detail how this technology is to be used by Active Duty, USAR, NGB, Family Members, Family Advocacy Programs and Substance Abuse Programs.
Additionally, he completed an analytical study assessing a number of training modalities aimed at converting approximately 1,200 US Army Flight Medics to NR-EMT-Paramedic certification. Numerous lessons-learned from Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom (Iraq and Afghanistan) highlighted the need to increase the current skill-level of US Army Flight Medics. His comprehensive review recommended an innovative, hybrid-approach to delivering this critical training encompassing both a centralized training model, as well as a regionalized training modality.
Dr. Betancourt recently served on an analytical study team which built an operational cost-model for the Joint DoD/VA Integrated Electronic Health Record (iEHR) Interagency Planning Office (IPO). This model is aiding the establishment of one, comprehensive and longitudinal health record for Service members from initial entry into Service, through Veteran status. Dr. Betancourt is confident that a ‘collective synergy’ will evolve in San Antonio from the intersection of the Military Healthcare System, Academia, and Industry: specifically in the areas of military medical research & development, military medical training and education (public health), and the treatment of Wounded Warriors and their Families.
EDUCATION AND TRAINING
Dr.PH, International Public Health, George Washington University 2003
Dissertation: An Evaluation of the Electronic Syndromic Surveillance for the Early Notification of Community-based Epidemics (ESSENCE).
M.S., Strategic Studies, U.S. Army War College 2006
Thesis: “Building the Afghanistan National Army’s Defense Health Sector: A Case Study in Reconstruction and Development.”
M.S., Strategic Intelligence Defense Intelligence College, Bolling Air Force Base 1992
M.S., Management, Troy State University, Fort Benning, Georgia 1990
B.S., Psychology, University of Florida, Gainesville 1985
U.S. Army War College, Distance Education Program May 2004 – May 2006
Defense Strategy Course, Washington, DC August 2001
Post Graduate Intelligence Program, Washington, DC August 1991 – June 1992
Command and General Staff College, Fort Leavenworth, Kansas August 1992
Combined Arms Services Staff School, Fort Leavenworth, Kansas March 1991 – June 1991 Aviation Officer Safety Course, Fort Rucker, Alabama February 1991
Medical Officer Leadership Course, Fort Sam Houston, Texas June 1985 – September 1985
Teaching InterestsPublic Health
Leadership for Healthcare Professionals
Research InterestsAccording to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), “an ideal population health outcome metric should reflect a population’s dynamic state of physical, mental, and social well-being.” (Parrish, 2010). Oftentimes, population research in public health is defined in terms of geographies, ethnicities, age or gender characteristics.
One neglected population-set which has unique needs is comprised of the Active-duty Service member (SM), the Military Family member, and the Veteran populations. This population-set contains unique stressors, challenges, benefits and characteristics which present the research community with a myriad of opportunities.
Additionally, there is a ‘Perfect Storm’ of events that is currently evolving to make this population set desirable for the research community to explore. First, both the U.S. Department of Defense and the US Veterans Administration are in initial stages of implementing the GENESIS Electronic Health Record (E.H.R.). Once implemented it will provide a SM’s longitudinal health history from initial date of military service to his or her date of death. Second, the Congressional National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) 2017 is mandating a number of initiatives which will enhance the Military Health System’s (MHS) ability to deliver healthcare in an integrated (Joint) manner between Services, utilizing emerging technologies such as telemedicine, virtual health, and medical modeling and simulation. This ‘synergy’ of efforts provide many opportunities for joint collaboration between the MHS community and Texas State University.
My current research is focused on exploring effective health-related interventions in the Active-duty SM population, the Military Dependent/Family population, and the Veteran population. My overall goal is to assist these groups in achieving a well-deserved dynamic state of physical, mental, and social well-being. The recent conflicts in Operations Enduring Freedom (Afghanistan) and Iraqi Freedom (Iraq) yielded a cornucopia of valuable lessons-learned in many domains from trauma medicine, to rehabilitation to behavioral health resiliency and treatment. My plan is to continue working with currently available data sources that allow me to conduct longitudinal research in a similar manner to what my colleagues and I achieved in the DoD Epidemiological and Economic Burden of Hearing Loss Study (DEEBoHLS), which produced valuable recommendations for health interventions to SMs at risk of hearing loss.
Selected Scholarly/Creative Work
- Kruse, C. S., Betancourt, J. A., Bamrah, I. K., Ortiz, S., Segovia, N., & Valez Luna, S. M. (2019). Barriers to the Use of mHealth in Improving the Health Outcomes in Developing Countries: A Systematic Review. Journal of Medical Internet Research, 21(10). https://doi.org/10.2196/13263 JCR IF 4.975
- Forsyth, C. J., Stigler, P. E., Pacheco, G. J., Betancourt, J. A., & Meymandi, S. K. (2019). Current Gaps and Needs for Increasing Access to Healthcare for People with Chagas Disease in the United States. Current Tropical Medicine Reports. https://doi.org/DOI: 10:1007/s40475-019-0170-1
- Alamgir, H., Turner, C. A., Wong, N. J., Cooper, S. P., Betancourt, J. A., Henry, J., … Packer, M. D. (2016). The impact of hearing impairment and noise-induced hearing injury on quality of life in the active-duty military population: challenges to the study of this issue. Military Medical Research, 3, 11. https://doi.org/10.1186/s40779-016-0082-5
- Alamgir, H., Tucker, D. L., Kim, S., Betancourt, J. A., Turner, C. A., Gorrell, N. S., … Packer, M. D. (2016). Economic Burden of Hearing Loss for the U.S. Military: A Proposed Framework for Estimation. Military Medicine, 181(4), 301–306. https://doi.org/10.7205/MILMED-D-14-00612
- Cooper, S. P., Alamgir, H., Whitworth, K. W., Gorrell, N. S., Betancourt, J. A., Cornell, J. E., … Packer, M. D. (2014). The Department of Defense Epidemiologic and Economic Burden of Hearing Loss study. Military Medicine, 179(12), 1458–1464. https://doi.org/10.7205/MILMED-D-14-00100
- Award / Honor Recipient: Department of Defense Bronze Star Medal, US Department of Defense. January 1, 2005 - May 15, 2005
- Betancourt, Jose Alberto (Co-Principal), Stigler, Paula Elaine (Co-Principal). Chagas Disease Prevalence and Associated Risk Factors Among Texas State University Students, Staff and Faculty, Texas State University Research Enhancement Committee and Faculty Senate, Texas State University, $15966.00. (Funded: February 1, 2019 - Present). Grant.