Baptist Health Foundation gives $172,000 for scholarships at UT Health Science Center

SAN ANTONIO (April 23, 2008) — Miriam Davis was only 15 when her mother died, but the memories of her mom’s dedicated service as a nurse at San Antonio’s downtown Baptist Hospital remain with her to this day.

“The people she helped, the friends she made really impacted me,” said Davis, who is on the nursing career path herself as a graduate student in the School of Nursing at The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio.

Davis is one of the students in health care professional education programs at the Health Science Center who received a nursing scholarship in 2007. This coming academic year, 46 students will receive $172,500 in scholarships made available by the Baptist Health Foundation of San Antonio.

UT Health Science Center President Francisco G. Cigarroa, M.D., honored the 2007 scholarship students, the Baptist Health Foundation and the Scholarship Committee at a campus luncheon April 17.

“My goal is that no bright, ambitious student who wants to become a health care provider should ever have his or her dreams put on hold for lack of finances,” President Cigarroa said. “It is wonderful that the Baptist Health Foundation is giving back to the community by helping to educate the students who will become the future of health for South Texas and our nation.”

The foundation substantially increased its scholarships for Health Science Center students this year. In 2007, the foundation gave 29 scholarships totaling $85,000.

“Dr. Cigarroa, it is our privilege to be your partner in helping the students,” W. Frank Elston, president and CEO of the Baptist Health Foundation, said. “The foundation was impressed with the students selected to receive our scholarships in 2007 and we are pleased to offer more scholarships this year.”

He said the scholarships enable the Baptist Health Foundation “to fulfill our mission of improving the health of our community by fostering and funding clinical, educational, spiritual and scientific initiatives while honoring God and our Baptist heritage.”

Addressing the shortage of registered nurses in South Texas and the increasing lack of professional faculty to train them, the foundation’s 2008 grant includes $50,000 in scholarships for students pursuing the Master of Science in Nursing degree and $35,000 for those pursuing a Ph.D. in nursing.

The foundation also gave scholarships for students training to be physicians, dentists, clinical pharmacists, physician assistants, physical therapists, occupational therapists, dental hygienists, respiratory therapists and clinical laboratory scientists.

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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 $576 million and 5,000 faculty and staff, the UT Health Science Center is the chief catalyst for the $15.3 billion biosciences and health care sector in San Antonio’s economy. The UT Health Science Center has had an estimated $35 billion impact on the region since inception and has expanded to seven campuses in San Antonio, Laredo, Harlingen and Edinburg. More than 23,000 graduates (physicians, dentists, nurses, scientists and allied 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, orthopedics, research imaging, transplant surgery, psychiatry and clinical neurosciences, pain management, genetics, nursing, allied health, dentistry and many other fields. For more information, visit

The Baptist Health Foundation of San Antonio began awarding grants in 2005 and has already distributed more than $11.5 million to help organizations provide clinical, educational, spiritual and scientific services. This year alone, the foundation plans to give $4.5 million, including more than $770,000 in scholarships. The foundation serves Bexar and the following surrounding counties: Kendall, Comal, Guadalupe, Wilson, Atascosa, Medina and Bandera. For more information, visit

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