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Health education programs receive continued funding in Lower Rio Grande Valley (9-20-00)

Funding appropriated by the Texas Legislature assures continued education and clinical training this year for students and health care professionals in the Lower Rio Grande Valley through The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio and its South Texas/Border Region Health Education Initiative (STBI).

In 1995, with local educators and health professionals, the Health Science Center began educational programs as part of the South Texas/Border Region Health Education Initiative, a state legislative project to enhance training in the region for students interested in health careers. The initiative has similar programs in the Corpus Christi/Coastal Bend, Del Rio/Winter Garden and Laredo/Mid Rio Grande Border regions. The current programs were reviewed by a local advisory committee.

In addition to continuing programs in the Lower Valley, the $2,481,673 budget for the fiscal year ending Aug. 31, 2001, will fund a new project in public health nursing at The University of Texas at Brownsville, and also an extension to Harlingen and Cameron County of the highly successful health careers-motivating program, Med/Ed, coordinated by the Office of the Vice President for South Texas Initiatives, which is part of the U. T. Health Science Center at San Antonio and is located in McAllen.

Third-year medical student clerkships in pediatrics will be continued at Valley Baptist Medical Center. Also, continued clinical training for medical students and residents in family practice and psychiatry will complement activities at the Health Science Centerís Regional Academic Health Center (RAHC) in Harlingen.

Ongoing programs receiving support include allied health programs at South Texas Community College, McAllen; dental assistant training at Texas State Technical College, Harlingen; emergency medical technology; and dental student education at several Valley community health centers.

Disease prevention, continuing education and professional development programs are planned as well.

As before, the STBI will continue to provide educational and student support, telecommunications access, library access services and student housing in the area.

For more local information, contact Dr. Mario Ramirez, vice president for South Texas/Border Initiatives at the Health Science Center, in McAllen at (956) 994-3300.

Contact: Will Sansom