LAREDO (June 12, 2020) —Julie Bazan, MHA, executive director of the Mid Rio Grande Border Area Health Education Center based in Laredo, has been recognized for her dedicated leadership by the National AHEC Organization.
The NAO made the announcement virtually May 7 in lieu of at their annual meeting, which is not being held because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The award recognizes Bazan’s work as an officer of the national board and her regional leadership in advocating for better health, providing health education for residents, improving the delivery of health care in the region, and preparing and encouraging area students to become health care professionals from the five-county region of South Texas. The region includes Dimmit, Duval, LaSalle, Webb and Zapata counties.
Part of UT Health San Antonio
The Mid Rio Grande AHEC is part of the South Texas Area Health Education Program, based in the School of Nursing at UT Health San Antonio. Led by program director Janna Lesser, PhD, RN, FAAN, the program office administers five regional AHEC programs that encompass 35 counties of South and Central Texas.
Bazan joined the Mid Rio Grande AHEC 1993 and became its executive director in 2010. She joined the national AHEC board in 2018 as treasurer and now serves as chair of the Finance Committee and vice chair of the Center Directors Constituency Group.
AHEC research projects
Bazan was instrumental in leading human papillomavirus immunization (HPV) education efforts in the states of Texas, Oklahoma and New Mexico. Immediately following these efforts, she formed part of a study group and completed research projects revealing the impact of HPV immunization education on the immunization rates in Texas. A presentation of the findings was delivered at various professional conferences in 2018 and 2019.
“Her performance on every project leading to making lives better is outstanding,” remarked former Webb County Judge Mercurio Martinez Jr., chairman of the Mid Rio Grande Border AHEC Board of Directors. “We are extremely proud of Julie Bazan and her accomplishments.”
The National AHEC Organization represents a network of more than 300 AHEC program offices and centers that serve over 85% of United States counties with more than 45 years of experience. The NAO mission is to help its members achieve the AHEC mission through advocacy, education and research. The AHEC mission is to enhance access to quality health care, particularly primary and preventive care, by improving the supply and distribution of health care professionals via strategic partnerships with academic programs, communities and professional organizations, according the to the National AHEC Organization website.
The Mid Rio Grande Border AHEC focuses primarily on Health Careers Opportunity Programs (HCOP) for children in kindergarten through undergraduate college graduation, continuing education for the health workforce and community health literacy programs.
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The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, also called UT Health San Antonio, is one of the country’s leading health sciences universities and is designated as a Hispanic-Serving Institution by the U.S. Department of Education. With missions of teaching, research, patient care and community engagement, its schools of medicine, nursing, dentistry, health professions and graduate biomedical sciences have graduated more than 37,000 alumni who are leading change, advancing their fields and renewing hope for patients and their families throughout South Texas and the world. To learn about the many ways “We make lives better®,” visit www.uthscsa.edu.