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Harlingen CISD has signed a letter of intent with The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley to create a high school to medical school program at the Harlingen School of Health Professions.

With a shared vision for the success of students in the RGV, Dr. John Krause, Executive VP for Health Affairs and Dean of the School of Medicine at UTRGV, Superintendent Dr. Art Cavazos, and Board of Trustees President Greg Powers signed the agreement during a regular board meeting held Dec. 11, 2018.

The unique partnership will identify talented students in their junior year at HSHP and place them on a path toward medical school.

“We are excited to expand our partnership with University of Texas Rio Grande Valley to offer a unique opportunity for students at our Harlingen School of Health Professions,” said Superintendent Dr. Art Cavazos. “In collaboration with UTRGV, we are creating a pipeline that will prepare students for matriculation into a post-secondary medical program. The medical industry is one of the fastest growing areas in the RGV and HSHP was designed specifically with that in mind. This new program is just another way we continue to position our students at the front of the line of opportunities.”

“One of the things that we want to do at UTRGV, especially in the school of medicine is to provide opportunities for students from the Valley to go through university, to go through medical school, to go through residency training and then to stay in the Valley to practice medicine,” said Dr. Krause.

At the start of 2019, an HCISD design team will collaborate with UTRGV department chairs to finalize the program details. The program is projected to commence in the summer of 2019.

“We made a commitment to put our students at the front of the line of opportunities, and indeed that is what we’ve done today with our high school to medical school program,” said Veronica Kortan, Administrator for Organizational Development. “The work that we are doing right now is so impactful when you think of all the generations that we’re going to impact with just one of our programs is just an incredible experience.”

The UTRGV School of Medicine admits 50 students to each entering class, and this year alone, it had about 6,500 applicants for admission.

The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley (UTRGV) was created by the Texas Legislature in 2013 as the first major public university of the 21st century in Texas. This transformative initiative provided the opportunity to expand educational opportunities in the Rio Grande Valley, including a new School of Medicine, and made it possible for residents of the region to benefit from the Permanent University Fund – a public endowment contributing support to the University of Texas System and other institutions.

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