Holiday closures
UTMB schools, business areas, administrative offices and most clinics are closed today and tomorrow. They also will be closed New Year’s Day. John Sealy Hospital and the Emergency Room never close. For more information about UTMB clinics and patient services, including pediatric urgent care clinic hours, visit www.utmbhealth.com or call the UTMB Access Center at 409-772-2222.

Winter blood drive
The need for blood doesn’t stop during the holidays. The winter blood drive takes place 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Dec. 27-28 at the Blood Center, room 5.212 of the John Sealy Annex. For more information or to make an appointment, call 409-772-4861.

Go green
Make your tree more than just a symbol of celebration — recycle it. Galveston’s 19th annual Christmas Tree Recycling Drive runs through Jan. 20. All live evergreen trees, including flocked trees, will be accepted. Please remove all tinsel, lights, decorations and plastic or metal stands; wood stands will be accepted. Galveston Partners in Composting — UTMB and the City of Galveston — will turn the trees into mulch to provide benefits year round. Drop-off sites: 
•           UTMB: Open-top trash bin at the base of the water tower on the corner of Holiday and Harborside drives. •           City of Galveston Eco-Center: 702 61st Street (closed Dec. 24-25 and Jan. 1).  

Blocks closing for construction 
Two blocks of the campus, near the School of Nursing/School of Health Professions building, will be closed for the installation of underground utilities. The closure of Mechanic Street, between 11th and 12th streets, and 12th Street between Strand and Mechanic streets, is expected to last until August 2013. For more information and to view the latest in construction at UTMB, go to www.utmb.edu/construction.

New council members
The following individuals are newly elected to the Employee Advisory Council to represent different groups on campus: Amineh Baradar for Academic Enterprise, Neal Cooper for Institutional Support, Samantha McBroom for Hospital and Clinic staff, and Jerri Robison for Correctional Managed Care employees. More than 1,500 employees voted on their representative from an unprecedented 22 candidates running. 

Fully accredited
UTMB has received notice of full accreditation from the Association for the Accreditation of Human Research Protection Programs. The rigorous process requires high ethical and professional standards to ensure the most comprehensive protections for research participants.  Organizations must provide tangible evidence — through policies, procedures and practices — of their commitment to scientifically and ethically sound research and to continuous improvement. 

Galveston National Lab
A delegation from the University of Malaya — Malaysia’s first university, located in Kuala Lumpur — toured the Galveston National Laboratory and visited with UTMB scientists.  The group’s visit to Texas was facilitated by the Texas Medical Center and the Malaysian Investment Development Authority. Another delegation, from the Turkish Chamber of Commerce, also toured the GNL, accompanied by their Houston partners BMB Risk Management.  They learned about the many environmental health and safety measures that go into constructing and operating biocontainment laboratories. Dr. Tom Ksiazek, an international expert in infectious diseases and professor of pathology, led both tours.