Araceli Duran joins UT Health Science Center as health careers program coordinator

SAN ANTONIO (Sept. 15, 2009) — Araceli Duran recently joined the Laredo Campus of the UT Health Science Center San Antonio as its first health careers program coordinator. The position was funded last spring by a gift from Laredo Medical Center (LMT) to generate more interest among local students in allied health careers.

Duran will work throughout the Mid Rio Grande area to encourage high school and undergraduate college students, as well as those who want to change or enhance their careers, to enter the health professions via programs offered through the UT Health Science Center’s School of Health Professions.

This fall, the Health Science Center initiated a combined bachelor’s and master’s degree in dietetics and nutrition at the Laredo Campus, and for the first time, students can complete all three years of the master’s degree in physician assistant studies at the campus. A variety of other high-demand and well–paid health professional degrees are offered through the Health Science Center’s campus in San Antonio.

Originally from Nuevo Leon, Mexico, Duran was raised in Harlingen. She graduated from Northern Arizona University with a bachelor’s of arts degree in psychology. Since then, Duran has worked in higher education for 10 years, most recently at Texas State Technical College where she recruited students throughout the Rio Grande Valley. This included attending career fairs, college nights and financial aid sessions, as well as coordinating new student orientations for incoming freshmen.

Previously, Duran worked at Northern Arizona University’s Yuma Campus, Arizona Western College and Texas State Technical College, where she worked in a variety of positions involving admissions, financial aid, scholarships, recruiting and assisting students with the necessary documentation to enter college.

“I am dedicated to assisting future college students pursue their dreams of obtaining a degree in the health professions,” Duran said. “I will work with parents, businesses and the community to find ways to help support their students so they can enter our programs and complete their degrees.”

“Laredo Medical Center is pleased to partner with the Health Science Center in funding a recruitment specialist that will work to bring more qualified, local students into its School of Health Professions,” said LMC Chief Executive Officer Tim Schmidt. “There are many potential students in our area, and this new effort towards finding these students will only enhance the allied health care services provided at Laredo Medical Center by employing homegrown, invested health professionals.”

The mission of the Health Science Center’s Laredo Campus is to educate and train outstanding health professionals to serve the Mid Rio Grande Border region. The School of Health Professions’ goals in Laredo are to address the health professions workforce shortage by increasing access to health professions education, reducing health care disparities and chronic diseases in the region, and to improve Laredo’s economic strength.

To learn more about the health professions degrees offered through the UT Health Science Center, contact Duran at (956) 523-7411 or, or visit the School of Health Professions Welcome Center Web site,

The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio is the leading research institution in South Texas and one of the major health sciences universities in the world. With an operating budget of $668 million, the Health Science Center is the chief catalyst for the $16.3 billion biosciences and health care sector in San Antonio’s economy. The Health Science Center has had an estimated $36 billion impact on the region since inception and has expanded to six campuses in San Antonio, Laredo, Harlingen and Edinburg. More than 26,400 graduates (physicians, dentists, nurses, scientists and other health professionals) serve in their fields, including many in Texas. Health Science Center faculty are international leaders in cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, aging, stroke prevention, kidney disease, orthopaedics, research imaging, transplant surgery, psychiatry and clinical neurosciences, pain management, genetics, nursing, dentistry and many other fields. For more information, visit

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