A supplement to the Mission magazine highlighting advancements at the The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio and the heroes who help make them happen.
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S.A.L.E. adds scholarships for School of Health Professions students
Patricia Brewer, Ph.D. with a group of students
Patricia Brewer, Ph.D., (far left) associate professor and assistant dean for student affairs in the School of Health Professions, congratulates three of the School of Health Professions’ six S.A.L.E. scholarship recipients. Pictured are (L-R) Sarah Taff, Rose Broderick and Lindsey Waymer, all first-year students in the Master of Physician Assistant Studies program at the Health Science Center.

Since 2004, the San Antonio Livestock Exhibition Inc. (S.A.L.E.) has provided more than $1.2 million in scholarships to outstanding students in the Schools of Medicine and Nursing at the UT Health Science Center San Antonio who intend to practice their profession in the rural and medically underserved regions of South and Central Texas. S.A.L.E.’s gift is allowing students to master the skills needed to provide compassionate health care in the communities that need it the most.

Last year, S.A.L.E. continued its scholarship program at the Health Science Center with a $270,000 grant. And, thanks to the leadership of Keith Martin, executive director and CEO of S.A.L.E., and to the generosity of the entire S.A.L.E. organization, the program has expanded to include six new scholarships for students in the physician assistant studies (PA) program in the School of Health Professions. In all, the gift will provide scholarships to 46 students in the Schools of Medicine, Nursing and Health Professions for the 2008-2009 academic year.

The first group of S.A.L.E. medical scholars graduated from the Health Science Center in May 2008. They are currently enrolled in residency training programs ranging from pediatrics to emergency and family practice medicine. Fifteen of the 20 nursing S.A.L.E. scholars will receive their degrees this year. The remaining five are on track for future graduation.

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“The S.A.L.E. scholarship has been such a blessing to me this first year. It has helped to relieve some financial burdens and has allowed me to truly focus on my studies.”

–Sarah Taff, Master of Physician Assistant Studies program student and first-time S.A.L.E. scholarship recipient.

Marilyn Harrington, Ph.D., dean of the School of Health Professions, said S.A.L.E.’s generosity reaches far beyond the students to whom it provides scholarships.

“The Department of State Health Services reports that physician assistants practice in rural and border areas at a higher rate than any other health professional,” Dr. Harrington said.

“Our program has a strong mission that attracts students who want to practice in underserved communities. The scholarships are not only helping students, but also the communities in which they will work.”

Dr. Harrington said physician assistant students spend a rigorous three years in the educational program.

“Working to support themselves and their families while in school is next to impossible for these students,” she said. “The scholarships provide economic and emotional relief for them.”

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