The Houston Endowment has awarded $750,000 to The University of Texas-Pan American for its cooperative Premedical Honors College program with the Baylor College of Medicine in Houston.
The three-year grant began with a $280,000 award this year. Another $250,000 will be provided in 2001, followed by $220,000 in 2002.
The award was presented after Roland S. Arriola, vice president for External Affairs, and a team that included undergraduate and medical students from the program, traveled to Houston to meet with Foundation board members.
"Houston Endowment funds have enabled us to take an already successful program to the next level," said Cindy Wedig, Premedical Honors College coordinator. "The additional funds are expected to improve the rate of matriculation of UTPA premedical students to medical school and to enhance the transition of high school students to college by offering an outreach program."
The Premedical Honors College was initiated in 1994 through a federal grant from the U.S. Government Division of Disadvantaged Assistance. After the grant expired in September 1999, Baylor College of Medicine allocated funds to cover recruitment and administrative costs.
The program is designed to increase the number of primary care physicians in the medically underserved region of South Texas. The eight-year program, which attracts students from throughout the region, offers conditional acceptance to the Baylor College of Medicine upon graduation from UTPA.
While attending UT Pan American, program students will major in chemistry or biology. Besides completing degree requirements, participants must maintain a specified grade point average and complete Baylor's premedical prerequisites before entering medical school.
The Houston Endowment was created in 1937 by Jesse H. and Mary Gibbs Jones to support a variety of charitable organizations and educational institutions. The Foundation's assets are more than $1.5 billion, and more than $749 million in grants have been awarded.