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Kleberg Foundation donates nearly $1.5 million to UTHSC

The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio (UTHSCSA) has received a five-year, $1.46 million grant from the Robert J. and Helen C. Kleberg, Jr. Foundation to establish a medical scholars program at the Lower Rio Grande Valley Regional Academic Health Center (RAHC). The Legislature appointed the Health Science Center to oversee the RAHC Medical Education Division, dedicated June 28 in Harlingen, and the RAHC Medical Research Division under construction in Edinburg.

The Kleberg Scholars Program will support UTHSCSA resident physicians in the Valley Baptist Health System, specifically at Valley Baptist Medical Center in Harlingen. Eight physicians began residencies in internal medicine July 1 through the RAHC. Each Kleberg Scholar at the RAHC will receive a $10,000 per year award, and Valley Baptist Medical Center also will receive a $10,000-per-year allocation for each Scholar.

"We thank the Kleberg trustees for their continuing generosity to projects at the Health Science Center," said Francisco G. Cigarroa, M.D., president of UTHSCSA. "Their spirit of giving is helping many people in our wonderful state, and we are truly grateful for our partnership with the Kleberg Foundation."

New medical graduates often pursue residencies during which they specialize in fields such as pediatrics, internal medicine, or obstetrics and gynecology. Figures from the UTHSCSA Family Practice Residency Program at McAllen show that 59 percent of physicians who trained in the program since 1977 continue to practice in the Valley, and 84 percent practice in Texas.

Contact: Will Sansom