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 and other health care providers for possible future collaboration in health care research, service and education.
"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 (University of Texas System) Regional Academic Health Center," said Dr. Helen Castillo, professor and dean of the College of Health Sciences and Human Services.
"We believe that this is a wonderful opportunity to meet with our colleagues from Mexico, local health care providers and economic leaders to discuss mutual binational health care needs and strategies for improving the quality of health care on the U.S./Mexico border."
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." Also Wednesday, A.R. "Tony" Sanchez from Laredo, a member of The University of Texas System Board of Regents and chairman of the board and CEO of Sanchez Oil and Gas Corp., will be the featured luncheon speaker. He will discuss the UT System’s Regional Academic Health Center in the Rio Grande Valley.
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.
Other topics at the April 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.
Central Power and Light Co. is co-sponsoring the event with the UTPA College of Health Sciences and Human Services.
Elaine Hamlin, area business manager for CPL, said the company was pleased to have the opportunity to assist the university with the conference sponsorship.
"We are grateful to CPL for their generosity in supporting this conference," Castillo said.
Other co-sponsors are 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.
Registration for the conference is $90. Reservations are due April 16. For more information, call 956/381-3687.