Callender presumably will not be setting up an office on the continent, which last week recorded a temperature of negative 79 degrees and a wind-chill of negative 124.
Of course, this isn't a matter of providing charity care; UTMB has signed on as a subcontractor to Lockheed Martin through September 2016 with options to renew in two-year increments through March 2025. If all the options are exercised, the medical branch will receive a total of $60 million, according to the news release.
UTMB Health will create a Center for Polar Medical Operations in Galveston to manage the health services at three U.S. stations: McMurdo Station, Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station and Palmer Station. UTMB also will manage seasonal field camps and two marine research vessels. Each polar station has a physician, and McMurdo also has the equivalent of a Level 4 urgent-care center, according to the release. UTMB will medically screen the roughly 3,000 people who work at U.S. Antarctic stations each year.
Dr. Scott Parazynski, a former NASA astronaut, was named chief medical officer for the new center. “Antarctica is the most remote and extreme place on Earth to live and work,” Parazynski said in the release. “It's our responsibility and privilege to assure (that) those who are traveling there are physically up to the challenge and have the medical support they need once they get there.”