FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
South Texas Center Dedication
January 8, 2004
Contact: John Holder or Terri Parker (979) 458-0669
The Texas A&M University System Health Science Center
Office of Communications
Web address: http://tamhsc.edu
South Texas Center Facility to be Dedicated in McAllen
A 23,000-square-foot facility for The Texas A&M University System Health Science Center’s South Texas Center will be dedicated on Monday, January 12, 2004, at 10 a.m. at the building site, 701 East Vermont Avenue in McAllen. Nancy W. Dickey, M.D., president of the health science center and vice chancellor for health affairs for the A&M System, will host the dedication ceremony. The event will also include remarks by Dr. Benton Cocanougher, interim chancellor of The Texas A&M University System and The Honorable Leo Montalvo, mayor of the City of McAllen. Several members of the U.S. House of Representatives and Texas Legislature will be on hand for the dedication as well, including House members Ruben Hinojosa and Lloyd Doggett, and Texas legislators Juan “Chuy” Hinojosa, Eddie Lucio, Roberto Gutierrez, Ismael “Kino” Flores, Miguel Wise and Aaron Peña.
The new building was made possible by a unique funding structure whereby the City of McAllen had the building constructed to the specifications of The Texas A&M University System, and then sold the facility to the A&M System on completion of construction.
McAllen is the first community in Texas that has embarked on such a venture that will bring a permanent higher education facility to the city. The building will provide necessary space for lab, offices, classroom and conference areas for the A&M Health Science Center to use in carrying out a wide range of medical and public health education, health-related training, public health and clinical research, community medicine and public health outreach programs with local partners.
The South Texas Center represents an expansion of the A&M Health Science Center’s presence in the Lower Rio Grande Valley. The center’s purpose is to provide health professions education, recruit students into the health professions for McAllen and surrounding counties, provide health outreach programs to disadvantaged populations in the region and conduct research on health issues specific to the Lower Rio Grande Valley.
Education programs operated by the South Texas Center include a Master of Public Health (M.P.H.) program, a public health certificate program and a curriculum for promotoras (volunteer health workers serving area communities).
South Texas Center research initiatives involve both the medicine and public health fields. Some examples of the center’s research programs include the Childhood Immunization Education Initiative, South Texas Community Health Status Assessment, and a study on health insurance services in small factories on the U.S.-Mexico border. Border environmental health issues also form a research focus at the center.
Yet another key focus of the center is outreach. Outreach programs at the center include the Center for TeleHealth (an initiative of the A&M Health Science Center’s Baylor College of Dentistry), a College of Medicine effort to identify children at high risk for diabetes, and several public health projects, including the Integrated Health Outreach System, the Health Education and Rural Outreach (HERO) Mobile Medical/Dental Unit, partnerships with Hidalgo and Starr counties, and a National Kidney Foundation partnership. The center is also assisting with strategic planning for the Rio Grande Valley Health Services District.
The Texas A&M University System Health Science Center provides the state with health education, outreach and research. Its five components located in communities throughout Texas are Baylor College of Dentistry, the College of Medicine, the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, the Institute of Biosciences and Technology and the School of Rural Public Health.
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