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UT System Regent Sanchez to discuss Regional Academic Health Center at conference luncheon
Posted: 04/16/1999
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A.R. "Tony" Sanchez of Laredo, a member of The University of Texas System Board of Regents, will discuss the UT System's Regional Academic Health Center in the Rio Grande Valley in a luncheon address at noon Wednesday, April 28, at the First International Conference on Health Issues at The University of Texas-Pan American.

Sanchez, who is the chairman of the board and CEO of Sanchez Oil and Gas Corp., will speak in the University Ballroom.

All other sessions of the three-day conference April 27-29 will be held in the University Theatre of the Communication Arts and Sciences Building.

The conference is designed to provide a forum for the international exchange of health-related information and research and to bring together physicians, health educators, nurses, other health care providers and local business men and women for possible future collaboration in health care research, service and education.

"This conference is important to the Rio Grande Valley and our community because the most current information about health problems and needs along the Texas-Mexico border will be provided. Topics on economic development and NAFTA that affect us all will be included," said Dr. Helen Castillo, professor and dean of the College of Health Sciences and Human Services at UTPA.

"We urge administrators from hospitals and health care agencies, physicians, nurses and local business people to hear the latest on legislative and economic development," she said. "These are topics of interest to health care providers as well as business leaders in the community."

Keynote speaker on Wednesday, April 28, will be Dr. Beverly M. Henry of the University of Illinois at Chicago, who will address "International Dimensions of Health Policy Development."

The conference is cosponsored by the UTPA College of Health Sciences and Human Services and Central Power and Light Co., with assistance from the UTPA Office of Center Operations and Community Services, The University of Texas System Texas-Mexico Border Health Coordination Office, the UTPA Center for International Studies and the UTPA Nursing Honor Society.

Other topics at the conference will include diseases of particular importance in the region, including diabetes, hepatitis, HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis; health policy; health promotion; economic development after NAFTA; an update on border health care; and health and the environment along the U.S.-Mexico border.

"It is our goal to encourage international collaborative research and to focus on health care and policy development issues brought to the forefront by the Regional Academic Health Center," Castillo said.

The Regional Academic Health Center, or RAHC, is a four-center facility currently in the planning stages. The RAHC will consist of a medical education facility in Harlingen for third- and fourth-year medical students, a medical research facility to be located adjacent to the UT Pan American campus in Edinburg, a smaller medical education facility in McAllen and a public health center in Brownsville located next to The University of Texas at Brownsville campus.

The first three facilities will be overseen by The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, and the Brownsville center will be operated under the auspices of The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston. The RAHC was authorized by the Texas Legislature in 1997, and the sites were determined by the UT System.

Admission to the luncheon Wednesday is $20. Registration for the entire conference, which includes the luncheon, is $90. Reservations are due April 22. For more information, call 956/381-3687.