Learning the ABCs of South Texas

Projects benefiting South Texas have descriptive names, and those names are often shortened to their initials or a clever acronym. All of the programs foster health education and health care delivery in the region. Here are some Health Science Center programs you may hear about that are impacting South Texas:


Area Health Education Center

This federally funded program was created by Congress under the Comprehensive Health Manpower Training Act of 1971. Its goal is to improve supply, distribution and quality of primary health care personnel by focusing on education and clinical training in community-based ambulatory settings and by providing professional support and continuing education at the local level. The South Texas AHEC is administered from the Health Science Center. There are five AHECs in South Texas.


Center for Distance Learning and Telehealth

This center is based at the Health Science Center and is partially funded by STBI. It operates a telecommunications network that connects clinics, hospitals, colleges and universities in South Texas to medical education sites with full sound and video in real time. This "distance education" allows long-distance patient consults as well as classroom instruction and other live demonstrations. CDLT created the South Texas Center for Distance Learning and Telehealth Network.


Health Careers Opportunities Program

This federally funded program, sometimes called the "South Texas Pipeline," has been providing preliminary health careers education and exposure since the 1970s for high school students in San Antonio and South Texas. It is administered by the Health Science Center.


Health Education Training Centers Alliance of Texas

This program aims at improving the supply, distribution, quality and efficiency of personnel providing health services to Hispanic and other populations with serious unmet health needs, particularly along the U.S.-Mexico border. HETCAT fosters both health promotion and disease prevention in urban and rural populations.


Regional Academic Health Center

Authorized by the Texas Legislature and under development with state funding and University of Texas System funding, the Lower Rio Grande Valley Regional Academic Health Center will foster health education, medical research and public health programs. The RAHC is contingent on final agreements with partner organizations in the region and on securing matching funds, gifts of land and other forms of local support.


South Texas/Border Region Health Education Initiative

This state-funded initiative was begun in 1995 and is administered by the Health Science Center to enhance training in the region for students interested in health careers. Millions of dollars in funding have helped start dozens of educational programs for students from high school age to those pursuing postdoctoral studies in a variety of health care specialties.


South Texas Environmental Education and Research Center

Begun in 1996 with funding from STBI, this is an educational program of the Department of Family Practice at the Health Science Center and sponsors an elective course in Laredo about environmental health issues along the U.S.-Mexico border for interested medical, dental, nursing and public health students. STEER also is involved in activities such as a study of asthma among schoolchildren and helping residents in border colonias chlorinate their drinking water.


South Texas Health Research Center

This state-funded program conducts research, education and health promotion and develops health policy. The center awards small grants to faculty for research and education programs aimed at South Texas. The state’s investment of nearly $700,000 from 1995 to 1997 helped draw funds from other sources, leveraging the total to $6.4 million to finance larger projects.

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