FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 22, 2016
(512) 463-0120 office
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AUSTIN, TX - This past Friday, the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board awarded a total of $12 million in funding to several Senate District 20 hospitals and The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley Medical School to expand their Graduate Medical Education (GME) programs. This funding is critical to ensure that Texas has the number of practicing physicians we need.
Research indicates that of students who complete their medical school and residency in Texas, close to 90% choose to remain, practicing close to the area in which they completed their residency. This is especially important for South Texas, an area known to have a shortage of doctors and access to care difficulties for our families.
Senator Hinojosa issued the following statement:
"It is great news that several Senate District 20 hospitals and the UTRGV Medical School were awarded $12 million in funding to expand residency programs and residency slots.
This funding was made possible by the Legislature's increased commitment to GME, and I was proud to joint-author Senate Bill 18 that promotes residency expansion programs and places emphasis on Texas' most critical shortage areas. The goal of this legislation is to ensure that a residency slot is available for every Texas medical school graduate so that our students learn, train and ultimately practice here in Texas.
I will continue to advocate for continued GME support and growth to keep our doctors practicing right here in South Texas so that we can reduce our physician shortage, provide more care for our families, and ensure that our medical school is successful."
Senate Bill 18 combines and streamlines existing residency programs and establishes a long-term funding source by creating a permanent endowment to support GME. This bill also encourages non-hospital entities, such as rural community clinics, to provide new residency programs by allowing them to partner with schools and hospitals to navigate the accreditation process.