UT Health Science Center to host high school students at ‘Freaky Friday’ health professions event Oct. 31

LAREDO (Oct. 31, 2008) — The UT Health Science Center at San Antonio is holding a spooky special event, “Freaky Friday,” on Halloween morning, Friday, Oct. 31. Designed to give area high school students an introduction to the health sciences through hands-on activities, the event will be held 8 a.m. to noon in the D.D. Hachar Building at the Laredo Campus Extension (LCE), 1937 Bustamante Street.

Through three hands-on labs, a group of students from Lyndon B. Johnson, Hebbronville and Bruni high schools will study the human brain, learn about other parts of the body via plastinated specimens (body parts preserved in plastic) and sew up wounds on simulation practice arms. Students also are encouraged to compete in a “mad scientist” costume contest.

The program is being sponsored by the Health Science Center’s Med Ed Program, which provides encouragement and support for middle school, high school and undergraduate college students in South Texas who are interested in the health professions.

Presentations will be led by Laredo native Irene Catalina Chapa, Ph.D., and Brandi Garza from the Health Science Center’s Office of Recruitment and Science Outreach; Griselda Rubio, M.H.A., Med Ed Program coordinator at the LCE; and students from the Health Science Center’s Physician Assistant Studies Program attending classes at the LCE.

“We are designing this to be a fun and educational morning with a Halloween twist,” Rubio said.

“We want students know that there are plenty of interesting and satisfying careers in the health professions and that we are here to help them achieve it, if that is their dream,” Chapa added.

Med Ed Program participants are offered year-round academic enrichment, community service opportunities, volunteer programs at area health care facilities and field trips to the LCE and the Health Science Center campuses in San Antonio to learn more about how to prepare for an education and career in the health professions. For more information about the Med Ed Program visit www.uthscsa.edu/meded.

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 $15.3 billion biosciences and health care sector in San Antonio’s economy. The Health Science Center has had an estimated $35 billion impact on the region since inception and has expanded to six campuses in San Antonio, Laredo, Harlingen and Edinburg. More than 23,000 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 www.uthscsa.edu.

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