Omnibus spending bill includes $4 million for Health Science Center


San Antonio (Jan. 26, 2004) – Asthma, Hispanic nutrition and myeloma projects of The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio are included for funding in the Omnibus Appropriations Bill Act approved by the House in December and by the Senate on Jan. 22.

Health Science Center President Francisco G. Cigarroa, M.D., expressed his great appreciation for the funding. “Asthma is on the rise in South Texas and nationwide, and the $2.5 million that is coming to our asthma disease management study will be used to improve the lives of those who don’t take breathing for granted,” Dr. Cigarroa said. “We thank Congressman Henry Bonilla for his leadership in securing that funding.”

He applauded the work of Sen. John Cornyn in guaranteeing that $994,000 would come to the Lower Rio Grande Valley Regional Academic Health Center (RAHC) for the country’s first Hispanic Nutrition Research Center. “We are gratified for the leadership of Senator Cornyn as we focus on studying and enhancing the health of Hispanics, who make up the largest sector of the population of South Texas,” Dr. Cigarroa said. The nutrition research center will operate from the RAHC Medical Education Division at Harlingen. The Health Science Center operates that division of the RAHC and the Medical Research Division soon to open in Edinburg. Sen. Cornyn’s leadership earlier helped secure an initial $100,000 for the nutrition center.

Dr. Cigarroa also said the $500,000 obtained for myeloma research through the leadership of Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison will enhance the strong base of cancer research at the Health Science Center. “Senator Hutchison has recognized the gains made in biomedical research and we are grateful that she has recognized the value of the work being done at the Health Science Center,” he said. Myeloma is a cancer of the bone marrow.

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