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Health education programs receive continued funding in Mid Rio Grande Border Region (9-20-99)

Funding appropriated by the Texas Legislature assures continued education and clinical training this year for students and health care professionals in the Mid Rio Grande Border Region 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 Lower Rio Grande Valley regions. The current programs were reviewed by the Mid Rio Grande Border Area Health Education Center (AHEC) Board.

In addition to continuing programs in the border area, the $1,660,000 budget for this fiscal year (ending Aug. 31, 2000) will fund the development of allied health programs in clinical laboratory sciences and occupational therapy.

The STBI will provide ongoing support for dental student education at Gateway Community Health Center; the training program for prosthodontic residents at Gateway Community Health Center; medical student family practice training at Mercy Regional Medical Center; ophthalmology training and screenings in the Lions Club Mobile Van; South Texas Environmental Education and Research Center (STEER) programs with the Webb County Health Department and Gateway Community Health Center; the associate degree in nursing at Laredo Community College; and health career opportunity programs to inspire high school students to pursue careers in health care.

As before, the STBI will continue to provide distance learning support, library access services and program evaluation. Student housing, educational support and continuing education will be provided by the AHEC.

For more local information, please contact Dr. Gladys Keene, director of the Mid Rio Grande Border Area Health Education Center, (956) 712-0037.

Contact: Will Sansom or Jennifer Lorenzo