SAN ANTONIO (May 24, 2013) — William L. Henrich, M.D., MACP, president of the UT Health Science Center at San Antonio, welcomed the president and trustees of the Baptist Health Foundation of San Antonio to the campus recently for the annual Baptist Health Foundation Scholarship Appreciation Luncheon.
The foundation provided $222,000 in scholarships for 73 Health Science Center students for the 2013-2014 academic year. The scholarships are to students in the School of Medicine, Dental School, School of Nursing and School of Health Professions, and to students in the affiliated UT Austin College of Pharmacy clinical pharmacy program who study at the Health Science Center.
Several members of the Baptist Health Foundation board attended, including James Elkins, Marilyn Elliott, Mary Brogan, Connie Jones and Ken Andrews, Ph.D. Cody Knowlton, president and chief executive officer of the foundation, spoke during the luncheon.
Scholarship recipients stood to share brief reflections on the awards’ impact on their education. Dr. Henrich said it is exciting to see the foundation’s support for people at the dawn of their careers.
Advanced education in nursing
Cindy Weston is in the first year of the Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program in the School of Nursing. She told the audience that, while loving her practice as a registered nurse, she had thought the DNP degree was beyond her grasp. She has two sons in college, but even with that financial commitment she applied to the DNP program on faith that ways could be found to fund her new educational chapter. “The Baptist Health Foundation scholarship has afforded me the opportunity to pursue this goal,” she said.
Heather DiGiovanni, a first-year student in the physician assistant studies program, gave birth to a baby with special needs when she was 18. She overcame the circumstances to graduate from the respiratory care program in the School of Health Professions and was a respiratory therapist for four years. She wanted more contact with patients, she said, and the Baptist Health Foundation scholarship is enabling her to pursue this new portion of her education.
Christian Paez, a dental hygiene student in the Dental School, said she is from a low-income family in Laredo. In expressing her appreciation to the Baptist Health Foundation, she said, “I would love to help people have a healthy and confident smile for years to come.”
Dr. Henrich said: “If you had $1 to play on a chip to get the best return on investment, where would you play it? I would put it on education. It’s the entity that continues to return to all of us the benefits seen and unseen that make us the country we are. An investment in our people is better than an investment in gold or any commodity.”
He added: “The Baptist Health Foundation of San Antonio is placing its bet on these students and their education. There is no doubt in my mind, after hearing these students’ stories, that this investment will pay big dividends.”
Knowlton said the Baptist Health Foundation gives away $5 million each year and has 11 partner institutions, including the Health Science Center. Of these annual awards, $1 million is put into scholarships, which are the lifeblood of education, he said.
The Baptist Health Foundation of San Antonio’s stated mission is “to improve the health of our community by fostering and funding clinical, educational, spiritual and scientific initiatives while honoring God and our Baptist heritage.”
The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, one of the country’s leading health sciences universities, ranks in the top 3 percent of all institutions worldwide receiving National Institutes of Health funding. The university’s schools of medicine, nursing, dentistry, health professions and graduate biomedical sciences have produced approximately 28,000 graduates. The $736 million operating budget supports eight campuses in San Antonio, Laredo, Harlingen and Edinburg. For more information on the many ways “We make lives better®,” visit www.uthscsa.edu.