UA Rural Health Office Kicks-Off Southern Arizona Border Health Careers Opportunity Program

Jean Spinelli
Oct. 10, 2000


EVENT:

UA Rural Health Office Kicks-Off Southern Arizona Border Health Careers Opportunity Program
Linda Loomis, Ph.D., director, technological careers education, Tucson Unified School District, will represent Estanislado (Stan) Y. Paz, Ph.D., TUSD superintendent, at the ceremony

DATE/TIME:

Thursday, Oct. 12, noon - 1 p.m.

PLACE:

UA Water Resources Research Center, 350 N. Campbell Ave. (Southeast corner of 7th Street and Campbell), Tucson

MEDICAL WRITERS/ASSIGNMENT EDITORS NOTE: Media are welcome to cover this event, which is for program participants only, not the general public. Participants will be available for interviews. Lunch and refreshments will be served.


The Rural Health Office of the University of Arizona College of Medicine will kick-off the Southern Arizona Border Health Careers Opportunity Program (SAB-HCOP) on Thursday, Oct. 12, noon - 1 p.m., at the UA Water Resources Research Center, 350 N. Campbell Ave., Tucson.

SAB-HCOP is a multi-partner academic program designed to encourage socio-economically disadvantaged middle and high school students in four Arizona-Mexico border counties -- Cochise, Pima, Santa Cruz and Yuma -- to pursue health care careers. The project is funded by a five-year grant of more than $2.5 million from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Health Resources and Services Administration, Health Careers Opportunity Program.

Demographic trends show the U.S.-Mexico border region to be one of the fastest growing in the country. However, an insufficient supply and distribution of health professionals limits the access of border communities to medical care. Personnel shortages are worsened by cultural and language differences which separate health professionals from border Hispanic and Native American populations.

"Disadvantaged student recruitment is critical to the development of the region's health care infrastructure," says SAB-HCOP director Andrew W. Nichols, M.D., MPH, who also directs the UA Rural Health Office. "This new program will provide students from economically and academically disadvantaged backgrounds with opportunities to develop the skills needed to compete successfully, to enter into and graduate from health professions programs of study, and to become health professionals."

To accomplish this goal, SAB-HCOP will create an "educational pipeline" linking high schools with community colleges and the UA. School-based HCOP teams will provide socio-economically disadvantaged middle and high school students with educational programming, including: financial aid and learning-to-learn workshops; preparatory workshops for the Student Achievement Test (SAT), Graduate Record Exam (GRE) and Arizona's Instrument to Measure Standards (AIMS) test; cultural competency training; tutoring services for math, science and writing; participation in the UA Med-Start and PREP summer enrichment programs and Minority Medical Education Program; and biology workshops conducted by UA medical students in the College of Medicine's Commitment to Underserved People (CUP) program during university site visits. The program involves partnerships with more than 20 organizations in Arizona's southern border region.

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