Hispanic Center of Excellence Awarded 8th Year of Funding
May 11, 2020
The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) provided notice of award to the School of Dentistry's Hispanic Center of Excellence (HCOE) on Thursday, May 7, 2020. The nearly $700K award marks the start of the HCOE's 8th year under the direction of Juanita Lozano-Pineda, D.D.S., M.P.H., associate professor in the department of comprehensive dentistry and associate dean for external affairs.
The Center provides for educational opportunities in dentistry for current and prospective dental students. Year-round the HCOE provides for tutoring opportunities that enhance current dental students' didactic knowledge and handskills. Teaching opportunities are also available to students in alliance with the Teaching Honors program. During the summer, rising students can apply to the Learning Enhancement for Achievement in Dentistry
(LEAD) programs 4-6.
Incoming 1st years receive early access to the school, interaction with course directors, a preview of fall courses, and special introductions to student services and organizations. Other rising students are able to fine tune handskills gain SimLab experience in a smaller group setting, and enjoy opportunities for community service learning projects.
"In light of COVID-19, this year's summer programs will include distance learning with videos and group sessions via Microsoft Teams," says Dr. Pineda. "All LEAD programs will be a hybrid of both web-based and onsite learning, with plans to maintain social distancing during the onsite sessions."
Prospective dental students are introduced to the UT Health San Antonio through the HCOE's LEAD, programs 1-3. Through this outreach program, pre-dental students are able to spend 3-weeks on campus attending DAT prep courses, application workshops, preceptorships, hand-on activities, and engagement with dental students and faculty.
Dr. Pineda and her team expect over 50 dental students to participate in LEAD 4-6 this June and about 25 pre-dental college participants in LEAD 1-3 this July.
Two-year faculty fellowships are also provided by the Center, offering leadership and public health training for interested faculty. This June, Dr. Martha Evan and Dr. Stephanie Lomeli will be completing their fellowships with the Hispanic Center of Excellence.
The new award is for the period of July 1, 2020 through June 30, 2021, which will be year 4 of the 5-year grant. The HCOE will reapply for funding with HRSA before the end of June 2022. Congratulations to Dr. Pineda and the entire Hispanic Center of Excellence team, which includes Vidal Balderas, D.D.S., M.P.H., associate professor in the department of comprehensive dentistry, Melissa R. Martinez, program coordinator - senior, Temo Garcia, M.B.A., program coordinator, and Nora Olivo, academic programs coordinator.